How to make healthy lifestyle changes that last

How to make healthy lifestyle changes that last

We’re one month into the year - how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? If your answer is something to the effect of ‘not so great’, you’re not alone. According to a study from the University of Scranton, roughly 80 percent of people fail to keep their New Year's resolutions.

If you’ve already fallen off the wagon, take heart. It doesn’t have to be January 1st to make a healthy lifestyle change. Every day is a perfect day to start fresh, and make meaningful change - all you have to do is decide.

If you’re ready to start living a healthy lifestyle, check out four of my top tips for transforming your thoughts and dreams into a healthy lifestyle that’s here to stay.

1. Make Sure You Want It

The most important question you can ask yourself is, do I really want this? Change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s hard work; and, the sooner you manage your expectations accordingly, the better.

If you can’t commit to the long-term changes necessary to make your healthy lifestyle sustainable and real, then you don’t really want it. And if you don’t, don’t waste any more time or energy pretending like it’s going to happen.

But if you do want that healthy lifestyle and all of the change that comes with it, then it’s time to get serious. Make a list of the changes that must be made to make your goal a reality. If you know what it takes to get there, you can enter each day with purpose and intent.

2. Practice Willpower

Making change isn’t supposed to be easy. In fact, living a healthy lifestyle requires a great deal of determination and willpower. If you’ve failed in the past it doesn’t mean you don’t have any willpower, you just might be a little out of practice.

To strengthen your willpower, practice first with small tasks. For example, every morning tell yourself you must make your bed before you leave the house - no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. By practicing with small tasks, you start to build self-trust. When you can begin to trust that you will accomplish what you say you will, you will build the willpower you need to make larger healthy lifestyle goals a reality.

3. Manageable Chunks

True healthy lifestyle development is complex, involving multiple parts and moving pieces. You have a life - schedules, commitments, and loved ones that are still important. As excited as you might be, you can’t drop the entire world to do a life overhaul and start living your life perfectly in one day.

Start with small changes, snowballing on healthy habits as you’re ready to take on something new. This makes it possible to figure out how your new healthy lifestyle fits in with existing rhythms as you go, making your new habits more realistic to maintain long term.

4. Cultivate Your Mindset

It’s a fact that when making big life changes there are going to be days where you’re just surviving. You’re not loving it, it’s not glamorous, you don’t feel like the bubbly, blossoming fitness instructor you see in high production workout videos...you’re just there, doing the grunt work, making it happen.

It’s true that those ‘just surviving’ days will always be with you. And like I said earlier, your willpower will kick in to get you through those days. However, it is possible to shift your mindset to find positivity in the mundane, so you can spend less time simply surviving, and more time thriving.

Often times, we think of things we don’t want to do, as things we ‘have’ to do. I have to go to the gym; I have to eat a salad. Imagine what would happen if rather than thinking ‘I have to go to the gym’, you started thinking ‘I get to go to the gym’. By simply changing this one word, we can walk into a mundane practice with gratitude, excitement, and dare I say joy (gasp).

You may not believe the grunt work you don’t want to do today is something that a month from now you’ll look forward to. However, when we cultivate our surroundings and thoughts positively it’s highly likely that this will be the outcome. This is when living a healthy lifestyle gets fun.

Move the needle from simply surviving to thriving, and you’re ready to step forward in your healthy lifestyle with the confidence that you will succeed. 

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