Are you the “all or nothing” type? Do you repeatedly create a daunting exercise schedule that you know you realistically won’t stick to? Or start over on a restrictive/trendy diet plan every few weeks because you “blew it” during many social gatherings or your doctor scared you at your last visit?
Instead of putting so much pressure on yourself with extreme lifestyle changes, consider setting realistic & achievable goals, making small changes to your daily habits so you can stay consistent and make a big impact on your health and wellbeing! You will also feel proud of yourself vs feel defeated… which will keep your mind in a positive place.
Remember: Just because you have one flat tire, does NOT mean you need to slash the rest!
Here are a few changes you can make to see positive, long term results in your mind and body:
- Assess your water intake. If you are lacking in this area, consider drinking 8-16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up. (before that cup of coffee!) Keep a cup or water bottle on your nightstand so it is ready for you.
- Switch up your social calendar. Book hiking, walking, and active plans with friends and family. Instead of basing your social life around eating and drinking, making plans to explore the outdoors and get some exercise can double as a workout and a social event. Remember to set boundaries- if people are always asking you out and your weekends get completely booked, you may want to reschedule and take some time for yourself to unwind and take care of you.
- Create realistic movement goals for yourself. Having a goal of 10,000 steps per day can be daunting for many, and definitely not realistic if you work a full time desk job or have issues with your knees! Remember, anything is better than nothing. If you tend to be sedentary during the week, start with setting a 10 minute goal daily to walk. This can be outside, on a treadmill, or even just around the house! Set a reachable goal that fits your lifestyle. Then it won’t feel like such a chore, you will most likely do more than you planned, and stay consistent with it.
- Try to have a few meals planned for the week. You don’t have to prep every single meal in advance to be successful. If you find it hard to find time, have some easy, go to dishes ready. (we can help!) Pick your protein, your sides- remember frozen veggies and legumes can work too, and a few sauces. You may want to consider using one of the meal prep companies and order a few per week so you have a fresh, healthy meal waiting for you when you get home.
- Find Inspiration in Podcasts & Books. There are so many motivational and informative podcasts that help with behavior change. Motivation Made Easy and Tiny Leaps, Big Changes is another. Books can also offer you inspiration and insight into making changes in your life to become your best self. Try reading Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear and Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- Add more veggies to your day. Filling more of your plate with vegetables is one of the easiest ways to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet. Consider throwing some raw veggies with your lunch, or greens with your eggs.
The bottom line:
While it can seem difficult to change your lifestyle, it may be helpful for you to think about how all the little changes can really add up. Overall, finding small ways to stay consistent with healthy habits will do wonders to your health overtime!