Everyone says they want to live healthy, but without a proper plan it is difficult to change bad habits.
Why do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? It’s hard to stick to goals when you don’t know why you set them in the first place. Try writing down your reasons on a note card and putting it on your mirror. Be specific in your answers, it is not enough to say "I want to feel better." Maybe it is having more energy to play with your kids, maybe it is to be able to continue doing athletic activities as you age. There are many reasons, but make sure you know what they are as they relate to your day to day life. Here are a few questions to help determine why a goal is important to you:
- Why do you want to set this goal?
- What will happen when you accomplish it or make it a habit?
- How does this bring you closer to the person you want to be?
- How will this goal improve your life?
Answering these questions and putting them on paper will really help you stick to your commitments instead of being resistant to them. Healthy changes can sometimes feel like a chore, but if you look at them in a new light, it changes everything!
Stock your fridge, purge your cabinet
Diet is a huge part of being healthy, and planning is key when it comes to nutrition. If you aren’t stocking up on healthy foods you enjoy, then you’re more likely to indulge in unhealthy snacks, fast food and overeating in order to satisfy a craving. Stay motivated by making a meal plan and having foods like nuts, berries and veggies on hand. When you’re at the grocery store, before you give in to the temptation of buying an unhealthy item, walk by it knowing you can always go back if you want it. Chances are the temptation will pass. Be sure to avoid shopping while hungry, you are less likely to make smart choices when your stomach is growling.
Also, cabinet purges help: sticking to your diet is much easier when temptation is not easily accessible, you are very unlikely to go out to the store impulsively and buy cookies rather than eating cookies staring at you in your cabinet.
Make an appointment to exercise
Treat working out as an important meeting with yourself, as if you’re meeting with your boss. You can even schedule this with a friend or partner, as external accountability helps tremendously. Furthermore, your gym may have fitness classes and this is a perfect way to have everything planned out, or another specified time such as before/after work. The most important part is to not beat yourself up about it, use each day as a fresh start and an opportunity to better your health!
Mark your calendar
Another great way to stay committed to the healthy lifestyle you envision is to actively see that you are achieving your goals. Put a calendar on your wall or use a planner and write an “X” on days you stick to your goals, whether it’s going all day with no sugar, drinking more water, sleeping longer or taking your vitamins. Seeing your own consistency will make you think twice about skipping the next day.
Each day write or think of 5 things you are grateful for. It is hard starting a goal and seeing how far away the very end is, but when you see all the beautiful changes and struggles you conquer along the way and appreciate every moment, it becomes more rewarding. For example, every time you sit down to a meal you can think of how great it is that you are mindfully nourishing your body and actively taking control of your health.
Keep a journal
Journaling is another great way to track your progress and stay committed. Keep a food log to stay accountable for what you eat each day, record how you feel as you implement healthy habits, and reflect on why you continue to work on these goals. You will soon find that eating healthy and exercising is addictive, and as those cravings or other habits you are working away from crumble away, you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t started sooner!
Link up to motivational people on social media, whether it's on Instagram, YouTube , a Facebook support group, Pinterest or many other channels. The internet is a wealth of knowledge and motivation! Also this information gives you so many creative ideas to help you on your journey and it shows you many other people doing the same thing or those who have done it. If you scroll through social media on a regular basis, follow fitness bloggers and healthy lifestyle advocates. That way motivating and uplifting content will always be at your fingertips.
Making healthy lifestyle changes takes dedication, but you can do it! Use these tips to keep you on track and make those goals turn into habits.
If you want to learn more about healthy living contact the SCNM Medical Center.