Starting on any new lifestyle change takes commitment. If you have tried to make a change in the past, you probably know how difficult that change and commitment can be! Here are five tips that will help you adjust and stick to your new healthy lifestyle..
- Make a plan that will stick.
Write down your goals. Write down why you want to make this lifestyle change, and how you feel it will improve your life. Be specific with your goals as well; rather than saying “I want to lose weight”, get specific: “I want to lose 5kgs by Christmas.” Write it down, tell your family post it up somewhere that you will see it every day.
- Start small.
Don’t start by saying you’ll workout six days per week if you hardly ever workout. Look at your calendar, and start with 2-3 days per week. Find and block out a chunk of time that will be dedicated to your workouts. It doesn’t have to be long – 20 minutes can be more than enough! Schedule them as you would an appointment. Starting with a plan that is more realistic will make it easier to build on as you continue on with your new lifestyle!
- Change one behavior at a time.
When people are trying to make a change, they try too many things at once, and end up burning out and quitting, reverting back to their old behaviors. (sounds familiar right?) Instead, focus on one behavior at a time that you would like to change. Maybe it’s switching out drinking coke for water, cementing three days of working out perweek, or taking the stairs at work each day. Either way, focus on one behavior at a time, master it, then move on to the next one.
- Find a buddy!
Working out is so much easier with a friend. Rather than going out to happy hour for drinks after work during the week, start experimenting with a new workout routine with a friend. Instead of a sit down coffee, go for a beach or bush walk. You’ll begin to develop healthier habits, and you’ll still be able to hang out as you regularly would. Better yet, join a fitness group to keep you motivated and keep you coming back.
- Surround yourself with love and support.
Whether it’s a friend, family or your significant other, being surrounded by those who are aware of and in support of your new lifestyle change will help you stay on track, and help lift you up and encourage you on those days that you’re feeling down! Tell everyone what your goals is and ask for their support. It’s very powerful to say, “I’m making changes to be more healthier, I’d really like your help on this. Could you XYZ?” (Not restock the pantry with oreos OR give me some recipe ideas / workout tips) People LOVE to help and love to know you are coming to them for help – just ask!
Remember that making a lifestyle change is BIG, and it takes time. Don’t expect to be perfect, so be kind to yourself. Making a lifestyle change should be a good thing. Enjoy the process and take it slowly. Keep at it, and you will reach your goals!