Very few of us are the picture of perfect health. Busy lifestyles, bad habits and good old laziness all put up barriers to adopting the healthy lifestyle we want to be living. But, there is hope for you. Here are just a few tips to get you started on the path to better health, happiness and well-being.
What is Your ‘Why?’
Nothing will keep us on track better with the positive changes we want to make in our lives than clearly defining why we want what we want. We have to identify the benefits and all we hope to gain. If you are getting the itch to improve your health and well-being, there is a reason, likely many reasons.
But, you have to go beyond the surface, obvious ones like knowing you should take better care of yourself or wanting to improve your self-esteem by improving your physical appearance.
So, list out your first set of reasons, and then ask why you want that, and then that…you get the picture. At some point you will hit the core of what you are really after, and once that has been defined, you will be much more likely to stay the course.
Stress Management as Priority
This is likely one of the things on your long list of improvements you want to make and with good reason. And if you really want to succeed in changing your diet, prioritizing exercise and whatever other positive tweaks you are looking to make, this has to be priority number one without question.
High stress levels make it really hard to improve our health because in a stressed state, it is harder to make the healthy choices. We are more pessimistic about our efforts to be healthier and whether we can succeed. All sorts of chemical processes are happening that lead us to crave really unhealthy foods.
When you rein in stress, you are in a better frame of mind to make the decisions that will support your goal of improving your lifestyle and feeling better. You will be feeling better and want to make choices that keep you feeling better.
There is no one way to beat stress and different things work for different people. Experiment a bit. Do what you like. You may find journaling to be very helpful. Many people rave about the benefits of doing tai chi. You may enjoy hiking or making time for your favorite hobby.
Just do something that makes you feel like you can manage your stress more effectively.
Be Patient and Take Baby Steps
Don’t try to go from eating McDonald’s every day to being a raw food vegan. Don’t try to run five miles a day when you haven’t exercised in five years. It is tempting to go big or go home right out the gate, and while some people thrive off that major change, most will flounder eventually.
Don’t let impatience derail your journey. Start small and build on the sense of accomplishment that you will feel, which will inspire you to keep going.