Healthy Lifestyle in the New Year: Set Yourself Up For Success
Many of us start each new year with good intentions to establish a healthy lifestyle by eating better, exercising more and kicking habits that aren’t serving us to the curb. Of course, all of that’s much easier said than done, which is why the majority of people abandon their goals and resolutions just a few weeks into the year. We’ve provided tips below that will help you prepare yourself mentally, ensuring you start with a strong foundation that sets you up for success.
1. Know Your Why
Before making any lifestyle change, it’s important to get clear on your personal “why”. To tap into this, write a short list of words that describe how you want to feel overall, such as energized, strong or engaged. These words can then be used to define the deeper motivation you have for wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes. When you know your “why”, you’ll be more likely to stick with your plan because you know your actions are fueling a deeper purpose. And, for the inevitable times when you get a bit off track, it will be easier to pivot back in the direction you want to be headed in.
2. Be Consistent
The key to making lasting lifestyle changes is consistency. It’s much better to take small, yet consistent steps because they’ll eventually become habits that you can build on. If you start gung-ho, it’s much easier to lose steam and then give up on pursuing your goals altogether. For example, what do you do on days when you planned to exercise for an hour, but you end up pressed for time? Instead of skipping your workout completely, squeeze in a 15-minute walk or do some push-ups and crunches for just a few minutes. This will help you practice and get good at being consistent.
3. Practice Self-Compassion
Don’t go in with an all-or-nothing attitude. Instead, expect to have days where you end up skipping a workout or indulging in a treat. The key is to have self-compassion and understand that this is part of the process, rather than beating yourself up about it. Approaching your lifestyle changes with a positive outlook will help you see setbacks as opportunities to learn more about yourself and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t
4. Prepare for the Long Haul
Making healthy lifestyle changes that last isn’t a quick fix. It’s a process that takes time and patience, so you’ll need to train yourself to be happy and celebrate small accomplishments along the way. Otherwise, it can be frustrating and unmotivating if you’re not seeing the end result as quickly as you’d like.