Whether you want to lose weight, get more exercise or eat a more healthy diet, sticking to your new and admirable goals is often easier said than done. Fortunately, there are ways stick to a healthy lifestyle and to make new habits routine—check out these tips:
Pick non-food rewards
While it’s definitely a good idea to reward yourself along the way for making healthier choices and losing those first 10 pounds, exercising five days a week and/or choosing fruit for dessert instead of cupcakes for three days in a row, you have to be mindful of how you treat yourself. For example, it’s important to steer clear of the food as a reward mindset and find other ways to figuratively high five yourself. For example, choosing physical treats is a much better habit to adopt and will help to advance your goals much more than ordering takeout pizza. Choose a reward like buying new athletic equipment or relaxing in the family spa for 20 minutes. If you don’t already have a spa, check out Poolcenter.com for ideas; the website features a high quality and durable portable spa that you can move around your backyard and take with you if and when you move.
Try not to go overboard
When trying to live a more healthy life, many people adopt an all or nothing attitude. If they want to lose weight, they may declare that they will never eat another Oreo as long as they live, and eat only salads and grilled chicken for lunch. This approach is not usually sustainable, notes Best Health Magazine; instead, you should write down your health goals and ways that you can achieve them, and then pick just one idea that you are pretty sure you can do. For instance, try to eat healthier lunches three times a week and cut back on your sodas and desserts. Once you master it, then add another one. Remember that moderation is best and will be far more successful than extreme lifestyle changes.
A great way to make your new healthier lifestyle stick is to have a small group of friends to help you stay on track. While you don’t need to announce your plans on social media, let a few of your trusted friends know what you hope to do, and then share your progress with them on a regular basis. Try to choose friends who will support you without being judgmental and will cheer you on and celebrate your successes with you. This will inspire you to continue to check in with them and stay on track with your goals.
Have healthy options available
It is much easier to make healthier choices if they are readily available. Going back to the Oreo example, you will avoid snacking on the tasty cookies if you have plenty of fruit, nuts, string cheese and wheat crackers in your fridge and pantry. Don’t have time to meal plan? You can shop online for healthy snacks and food at websites like Vitacost.com. Shop ahead and purchase enough healthy snacks to last for several days, and cut back on the amount of junk food that you buy. You will also get more exercise if you have comfortable new running shoes and a nice place to walk, or an exercise bike set up in your living room by the TV.