Everyone knows that you can’t just do pushups for a while, then stop, and expect that your body will stay as strong as it was before. You also know that you can’t just eat healthy for a while, lose some weight, then eat a bunch of junk food, and keep your weight where it was.
So how can you make positive changes in your life, and stick with them forever?
I think the best way is to make very small changes over time.
A lot of people jump into a diet and exercise program, all excited that something will finally work for them, but a week or so later, the excitement has rubbed off, and they quit.
I’m pretty sure a lot of that has to do with toxic shock syndrome — no, not a dread illness you’ve heard of, but often the shock of changing everything at once is way too much.
How about instead, you write down 10 things that you would like to change to get healthier. They could be things like
- Adding exercise 3-4 times a week
- Drinking half your body weight in ounces every day (if you weight 200 lbs., drink 100 ounces a day)
- Eating 6 small meals a day
- Eliminating excess sugar
- Eliminating carbonated beverages
- Eliminating artificial sweeteners
- Adding healthy fats
- Cutting our processed foods
- Taking time to relax
- Going to bed at a decent time
If you do all of the 10 things listed above all at once, you will probably quit almost as soon as you’ve started. It’s too much, too overwhelming, and most likely a recipe for disaster.
If your focus truly is to become healthy, why not try to take each thing you’ve put on your list, and take a whole 30 days to implement each one. For instance, to me, exercise was the more important thing on my list when I first started my journey. So I purposefully set out to find exercise that I could enjoy, and made sure I got into the habit of doing it.
The funny thing about habits is, you will actually miss that activity after 30 days if you don’t do it. Trust me, it truly becomes part of your life the longer you do it.
After the first thing on your list truly is a habit, try adding one more. If you chose exercise as your first goal, you might have realized that you’ve already begun drinking more water. So now your next challenge will be to make sure you’re getting enough water for the next 30 days, and so on.
Now don’t get frightened on me here …. but your goal is to make very small changes that you can stick with FOREVER. If something should come along to make you misstep, don’t panic. Take a few minutes to reevaluate what caused your failure, and what you will do to change it. That’s it.
Be mindful Be purpose driven Be intentional
Don’t make excuses for yourself. Own your decisions. Find out what you can do to make things easier on yourself.
If you have a job where you travel a lot, or work late and can’t have supper, then come home and go into a big sugar binge, what could you do to change that? Most of us can’t change a work or travel schedule, but we could take along a bottle with a protein drink in it, or have a handy healthy snack in our pocket so we’re not starving.
Make a plan and stick with it and you’ll be happier (and healthier) for it!
Make some healthy, lasting, lifestyle changes!