Guess what time of year it is? New year’s resolution time! I would rather label it as “start living the life you want to live time of year.” Nah, that seems like a long drawn out title that nobody would ever really want to follow, so how about, “You decide” time of year! I say you decide, because it really is up to you to decide what kind of life you want to live. Now, I would like to be able to help you achieve those goals, but it really is up to the individual to decide when the time is right. For me, the time is right now! I am going to share with you 5 easy tips in order to make a healthy lifestyle change last.
Number 1. Write it down.
I have found that writing down both short term and long term goals takes it from an imaginary idea to something real. Something that is real means it is obtainable. Something obtainable is something that can be worked towards. Now, be specific. Too broad of a goal makes it quite difficult to achieve. Starting with a smaller goal will only set yourself up for success. If you are constantly achieving smaller goals you are more likely to accomplish larger goals in the future. For example, if your larger goal is to eat healthier this year then make a couple of smaller goals that you can achieve short-term while working towards the bigger picture. Changing your entire way of eating can evoke anxiety. Try changing just one meal a day until that meal carries over into the second, and the third, and so on and so forth. Accomplishing those small goals will soon turn into a habit! Make sure to post your goals in a familiar place like on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Seeing it everyday will keep that motivation alive.
Number 2. Grab a buddy.
Telling someone will help hold you accountable. Accountability is a very important key in keeping with your lifestyle change. If you were to keep all of these ideas to yourself, it would be easy for you to disregard those goals and keep putting them on the back burner. This person could be a friend, co-worker, family member, or someone you just met at the grocery store or coffee shop. If this person wants to join you, just reply with, “come aboard!” Having a buddy go through this adventure of personal growth and discovery with you will only make these series of events less intimidating and the workload easier. Everything is more enjoyable with like minded company!
Number 3. Change one thing at a time.
Trying to change too many unhealthy behaviors at once will only lead to disappointment in the future. Just think about how you got to where you are today. Did you make all of these ‘unhealthy’ choices at once? No! Changing your lifestyle will take time. This is not a process that should be done in a week. A new healthy lifestyle will be comprised of multiple pieces and each piece should be dealt with individually and with much care and support. When new healthy behaviors start to become a habit, that is the time to incorporate another goal that works towards improving the overall change you are striving for. Just remember, “slow and steady wins the race!”
Number 4. Build self-awareness.
It is one thing to have someone else hold you accountable, but the main goal here is to be able to do it on your own. Being able to self-reflect on this entire process is another key component towards its success. The ability to recognize both your strengths and weaknesses will help build a stronger core foundation for a healthier you. Being able to troubleshoot your problems or unexpected roadblocks is fundamental in building a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Your own self-reflection is what will keep this change permanent. Don’t be afraid of what you might find out about yourself. The surprises might just be your best attributes!
Number 5. Enjoy the process.
I am going to be honest with you. This process is not going to be all rainbows and unicorns. You are going to experience both ups and downs. Just don’t forget to remember the main reason you are doing this. It will be easy for negative thoughts to start to take over during the harder times. Keeping your goals visible will allow yourself the ability to shoo those ‘debbie downers’ right down the drain. Always remember to keep it fun! Something that is enjoyable to do will prove more successful in the long run. If you hate running, but you want to make it your goal to start exercising again, then don’t start out with running! Pick something that you enjoy doing. If you find that you enjoy meditation and soul searching, then try your hand at yoga. Think of your interests and make sure to head down similar paths.
With 2018 fast approaching, don’t get stressed! Take this opportunity to think of the upcoming year as the beginning to a new and improved you. If you end up experiencing some minor mishaps along the way, be okay with not being okay! Life is meant to be lived in the grey, not in the black and white. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
I encourage you to write your goals for 2018 in the comments below! Just remember tip #2, I could be your buddy! I can’t wait to hear about all the positive changes this new year brings.