Following through on your commitment to improve your health takes time. If you can see your ultimate destination, you are much more likely to take the steps you need to take to get there. With that in mind, here are a few of the best tips I can offer to help you make lasting, positive lifestyle and behavior changes:
Plan your work and work your plan. Your plan is like a map that will guide you on this adventure. When making your plan, be specific. Do you want to exercise more? Decide on the best time of day and how long you will exercise, then stay committed. Write everything down, then ask yourself if these goals are realistic for you. Most importantly, record your progress and review it often. This will help you stay focused and aware of your accomplishments.
Start small, think big. After you’ve identified realistic short-term and long-term goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps that are specific and can be measured on a weekly and even a daily basis. If your long-term goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next three months, then a good weekly goal would be to lose one pound a week. If you know you need your weakness is late night snacking, decide to replace dessert with a healthier option, like a protein shake or a piece of fruit. Check off each day’s success. As the week goes by, you will feel more successful knowing that you are meeting your daily goals!
Stay the course. Unhealthy behaviors develop over a period of time, so replacing these behaviors with better ones also takes time. I find that people run into problems when they try to change too many things all at one time. To increase your chances of success, I suggest that you focus on one or two changes at a time. As each new healthy behavior becomes a habit, you will find it easier to add another practice that will contribute to the overall change you’re striving for.
You can’t focus on everything. Focus means selecting a relatively few important tasks and making them a priority, not trying to do everything. The changes that you want will take time and commitment, but you can do it. Just remember that no one is perfect. You will have occasional lapses. Don’t dwell on your mistakes, stay focused on your goals. Minor slip ups on the road to your wellness are normal and okay. Resolve to recover and get back on track!
Until next time, Stay Strong and Live With Faith! ~ Jason