- Be Happy & Make Peace: Let go of any insecurities you have, and make peace with the lifestyle you USED to have. The best way for you to start a healthy lifestyle is to be content with everything that has brought you to this point. This is your fresh start; you have conquered every obstacle life has brought you thus far, and now you want to be EVEN BETTER. A practical way to do this is to write, but I enjoyed a social detox where I really examined my life without the input of others.
2. Focus on 1 Thing at a Time: I recently decided to become a pescatarian (where you only eat seafood, no other meat) after I had already adopted habits to go to the gym 5 days a week, and cut out numerous ingredients from my diet. It just got to be too much. I couldn’t focus on my overall health and if i was even happy being this focused and following these ‘rules’ – it wasn’t a sustainable or positive change. I recommend developing good habits one-by-one and only after around 3 weeks, should you begin to introduce change. You don’t need to rush, change does not happen overnight.
3. Make your Bed Every Morning: Honestly, this is the best habit I have ever adopted. It’s not so much for the positive morning routine (though it doesn’t hurt), but it sets a foundation for my day. There is no satisfaction like getting into a freshly made bed every evening. Being able to enjoy the little things is going to teach you to reward yourself for both big and small changes that you have successfully established, while maintaining a healthy relationship with change of all sorts – positive or negative.
4. Add (healthy) Things to your Diet: There are so many simple ways to make healthy changes to your diet; they can severely lower your calorie count or create a tempered and balanced internal health. This might include adding spinach to literally any dish, or substituting butter for coconut oil, or preparing healthy snacks in advance rather than reaching for those quick, salty or sweet treats.
5. Be Active: This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go to the gym everyday, NOR that need to burn 5000 calories every workout. The key here is sustainability; going outside, walking the dog, going for a swim, and just getting your body moving. Also think about what your body CRAVES: there are days where I cannot fathom a HIIT workout or even getting on the treadmill because I’m so stiff or stressed and this is where the internet can be your best friend; Look on Youtube for a yoga video that stretches your entire body (there are specific ones depending on the time of day). Role out your mat, or put down a pillow and listen to what your body needs. There isn’t just one way to be healthy.
6. Designate Self-Care Days:It is a necessity for your mental and physical wellbeing to take extended periods of time to decompress and focus on YOU. A healthy lifestyle includes taking care of your mental health just as much as your physical health and while these might not include specific treatments, just do something that you enjoy and/or are passionate about. Take a day to do nothing. While you will enjoy that designated time, a lot of satisfaction or relaxation comes from knowing that this day/time is approaching. Similar to if you eat best with a consistent cheat meal throughout your week, you’re more inclined to focus on the work at hand if you know you will have time for yourself.
7. Try Eating & Exercise Challenges: I just finished the Blogilates 30 Day Ab Challenge, and am currently working on a Burpee challenge and I am COMPLETELY OBSESSED! These have a plethora of benefits that include a sense of community, and competition and support, but it also leaves you accountable. Even without other people, i feel more obliged to workout and successfully complete a ‘challenge’ as I feel the need to ‘win’. Following, there is a definite sense of accomplishment, but also immediate gratification, especially if you aren’t seeing quick results. These challenges motivate me through bragging rights, but also in the structured and visible change that can occur i.e. I couldn’t do 30 burpees in one go, 3 weeks ago, but now I can.
8. Buy a Water Bottle you LOVE: You’ve officially heard it everywhere and you know you need to drink more water like… ALWAYS. This one feels pretty simple, if you buy a product you love, you’re more likely to use it. Buy a water bottle that is not only practical, but quite large so that you don’t have to constantly be refilling it. I have multiple bottles; one for home, one for work and like 6 others (lol) but this is so that when they are being washed, I have other options.
9. Try using a Smart Watch/Fitness App: Sticking to the theme of being accountable to something or someone, fitness trackers and apps aren’t just used for fitness anymore. They can track how well you sleep, how many steps you take, how well your eating habits are and these can be used to motivate your lifestyle. There may be certain things you are doing wrong that are affecting the way your body operates and preventing a positive wellbeing. By setting goals and constantly checking-in, you are able to see what you do well and what you need to improve on. I use a Fitbit, but i have heard raves reviews about MyFitnessPal and the Apple Watches.
10: Find What Works for YOU: Implementing change and creating a new and healthier lifestyle can be difficult. It is all about trial and error. You need to remember that just like no two bodies are the same, and no two people are the same, your journey and progress is going to be very different from someone else. In order for this to be successful implementation, remember sustainability, accountability and being happy.