5 Tips to Getting Healthy
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
We've all heard someone say (or maybe we have said it ourselves), "I'll start my diet on Monday". Of course Monday comes and we get too busy, we feel overwhelmed and/or we still don't know how to get started. Just the thought of moving forward feels exhausting. So when Monday comes we say "next Monday".
Every day, we are exposed to the reasons WHY we should eat better, add exercise, get more sleep, meditate and drink more water. News shows, magazines and social media report on scientific studies that encourage the public to either abstain or add something to our daily routine. Most often the recommendation comes with a purpose; the prevention of some type of disease or condition.
Through advertisements we are also exposed to the HOWs. These same media venues also contain ads on HOW to lose weight and live a healthier life. All these program and product options can be overwhelming at best. How do we weed through all of this 'noise' and know what's best for us? Which method is right and which is wrong?
I'm here to say that there is no easy answer since there is no ONE right answer. But what I have found is that there are 5 important steps and tips that can guarantee success when implementing any type of program, approach or method.
1. Write your GOAL, WHY and INTENTIONS down on paper.
Never start any change without knowing your GOAL, WHY and INTENTIONS.
Before we implement any change, we need to know what's the end goal? Is our goal just to lose 20 pounds and keep it off? Is it to get into cardio shape? Is it to get 8 hours of sleep? What is our health goal? Write it down. Just "thinking" about your goal is not enough to make it happen.
Our mind and body needs to know why we want to lose weight, exercise or change anything in our life that could help us live a healthier life. No one does anything in life unless they have a reason. So what is the real WHY for the change? Be honest. Is it because you have little to no energy, your clothes don't fit anymore, you want to be able to get on the floor to play with your grandchildren? Whatever it is, you must write your WHY on paper. Why? Because it:
makes your WHY crystal clear
provides a daily visual reminder
inspires you to take that first step AND continue, even when you don't feel like it.
Now that you have your GOAL and your WHY, now set an intention. I call these the baby steps to reaching your goal. Setting an intention helps you implement and reach your goal. It's a positive statement that describes exactly what you will do daily to meet your goal. Let's say you want to eventually walk 5 miles a day but right now you can barely go around the block. Below are some sample intentions you could start with.
I will walk 1 mile before I go to work in the morning.
I will find a walking buddy and consistently walk with them every afternoon, Monday through Friday, for 20-30 minutes.
I will walk my dog each morning for 15 minutes and then for 20 minutes in the late afternoon, 6 days a week.
*Depending your goal you may have to set more than one intention.
2. Keep it simple.
Choose one thing you wish to change. Don't try to overhaul all your habits at the same time. Otherwise you will set yourself up for frustration and failure. If your first priority is your diet then work on that ONLY. Accomplish consistent success in your eating habits before moving on to the next change. If changing all of your eating habits is too overwhelming than work on segments of your diet. Maybe focus on one food group at at time. Breaking it down to simple habits and steps is the key.
3. Be confident and positive.
The words we say to ourselves DO affect how we succeed with any type of change. If we begin with the negative self-talk from the get-go we are actually setting ourselves up for failure. Believing in yourself breeds success. Get up every morning and tell yourself that you CAN DO IT!
4. Have patience
Rome wasn't built in a day so changing a habit can't be changed in a day either. There will be some good days and there will be some bad days. Don't waste energy on negative self-talk and frustration over the bad days. Pick yourself up and move forward. Progress and your subsequent success is relying on your patience and consistency.
5. Be adaptable
Don't be rigid with your intentions. The best laid plans always need a little tweaking. When we write out our intentions they may not be realistic or sometimes life just gets in the way. Don't give up on your goal just rework your intentions.
Goal: I wish to walk 5 miles without taking breaks or being winded.
Original Intention: I will walk 1 mile a day for the first week and then add 1 mile a day for subsequent weeks until the 5th week.
What really happens: On Week 1 and Week 2, you complete the walks without a problem. On day 1 of week 3, you realize that your back and feet will not allow you to walk 3 miles yet.
Revised Intention: Instead of increasing my weekly walking mileage by 1 mile, I am increasing it by 1/2 mile.
So in the end it really doesn't matter what methods you use to be successful. What matters is that you set your goal, know your why, have set intentions, keep it simple, have patience and be adaptable. And don't give up!
Need help with any of these tips? Reach out to me so I can help.