Change can be really difficult, because as humans, we operate on autopilot, for a good chunk of our day. Think about it… as little kids, we learned how to brush our teeth: we brushed slowly, carefully, exploring each tooth, tasting the toothpaste, taking pride in how we spit straight into the drain… until we formed a habit. These days, we’re lucky if we even remember the act of brushing our teeth – it just happens, and we know it because we’re familiar the with the clean (or dirty) teeth feeling. We build habits in so many other areas of our life as well and operate our daily routine with minimal brain power.
In order to make lifestyle changes (and most importantly, make them stick!), we have to get off autopilot. This takes planning, creativity, accountability, & dedication. Without these factors, we typically fall off the wagon until we’re frustrated enough to try again. Let’s prevent that frustration, especially since the holiday season is sometimes the hardest time for people to live a healthy lifestyle, & set you up for success!
1. Set Your Intention: WHY You Want To Be Healthier
Let’s say you’re wanting to lose weight, what does that weight loss symbolize? Looking good is great, but we need to go deeper. How will you feel? What will you do once you’ve lost the weight? What other health/life benefits will you experience if you lose the weight? Without a deeper why, it will be more difficult to stay motivated.
2. Get Your Priorities Straight
Let’s say you are always tired for the first half of the day & you’re sick of it. You stay up late every night but just can’t seem to get to sleep earlier. You’re at your breaking point – your boss found you “head bobbing” at your desk. #Guilty. You’ll need to ask yourself how committed you are to change? Are you willing to say no to some things? Maybe some social activities, late night Netflix, your phone in bed? If you’re not willing to re-prioritize, then progress will be really difficult.
3. Set Small Goals
Set small goals for yourself each week. For instance, if you’re trying to eat healthier, start by adding veggies to one meal at a time, like lunch. Get a salad instead of a sandwich, 1-2 days/week in week one, and then 2-3 times in week 2, etc… Most people try to revamp their entire diet on day one & then end up deprived and binging on sweets. Your body craves what it gets most – slowly incorporating more nutrient dense foods, like veggies, will eventually make your body crave more veggies.
4. Plan Weekly Check-ins
Set one day of the week to check in with how things are going & stick to it. Put it on your calendar so you can’t forget. Evaluate what is going well, what isn’t, & be honest with yourself about why & how you can continue on a path to success.
5. Choose An Accountability Partner
Change is more fun with a friend & proven to be more effective when you have a strong support system. Find a friend who might be interested in rooting you on & vice versa. Surrounding yourself by good examples makes change a lot easier too.
We hope this is a helpful reference for you to make lifestyle changes that empower you to live your best, healthiest life! Remember, living a healthy life can be fun! Get creative, jam out to some of those songs on our playlist, listen to your gut, try delicious recipes, and most importantly, celebrate your victories, big and small!