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5 Easy Changes to Get You Ready for a Healthier Lifestyle

So you are ready to make some changes for a healthier lifestyle but you are struggling? Did you set up New Year’s Resolutions on making these changes only to find yourself “falling off the wagon” so to speak? Well, change can be easy at times, however more often than not, change is hard. Majority of the clients I work with struggle with this and they all differ in the reason why they struggle.


To create a healthier lifestyle, one must look at both their physical health and their mental health as they do impact each other. For this article, I am going to be focused on physical changes which focuses on nutrition and physical activities. However, for you to make these changes, your mind must be in the game and adjusted as needed.

Ready for a healthier lifestyle? 5 easy changes you can make that will help.

Now, there are many ways to help you overcome the challenges of change but here just five which I found my clients having success with.


First: Keep It Simple


When you are first start out in making changes, keep them simple. Change can be overwhelming especially when you try to do too much too soon. Yes, we are all drawn to the fantasy and romance of how someone changed everything and had amazing results in such a short time. But what we don’t hear is the struggles, the stress and then especially the challenges of keeping those new habits, behaviors and changes.


Making small steps have been proven to lead to success. One reason, smaller steps which build on other smaller steps helps us make manageable changes over time. Another is it reduces the feelings of being overwhelmed when we look at small changes rather than one large change.


In keeping it simple, start off with small changes, then add on and here is how you do it. Begin with creating your over-arching goal or goals, the end game of where you would like to end up. These would be considered your long-term goals if you will. Then with these goals, start creating the path that will lead you to them. The path includes the steps you will take to obtain your overall goal. With each big goal, break them down into smaller steps then break each of these down even further if you can.


Second: Take Your Time


Taking your time runs along the side of keeping it simple. Taking your time is not only focusing on small steps, but also not rushing those steps. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, when eating, take your time to eat and focus on the food, enjoy it. Then by taking your time, you give your stomach time to signal when it’s full which helps in over eating and it helps by giving you the chance to listen to your body and how it is responding.


Another area in which taking your time is beneficial is when it comes to your physical activities. Increasing your cardio too fast or pushing your strength training beyond in the beginning can lead to burnout and/or injuries, both of which can set you back in the journey in accomplishing your goals.


Third: Don’t Deprive


Leading a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean cutting foods out of your life because they don’t fit the ideal of a healthier life. In fact, depriving yourself increases chance of failure. Why? Because of the impact of your mindset. If you tell yourself you can’t have something, then you will crave it more and you will struggle more with eating healthier for you. So, if you want that ice cream, have it. Crazy right? Here’s the caveat to it though and yes, there’s a caveat. It’s about moderation and balancing it with your healthier lifestyle you are creating.


Ways to balance includes getting smaller portion sizes, getting less often and/or go out and get it. For example, I’m thinking ice cream… of course ice cream as it’s one of my favs. Instead of getting a half gallon of ice cream, which I will eat in just a couple of sittings if I don’t pay attention, I’ll get a half pint or I’ll go out to Baskin Robbins and get a single scoop cone. That way I get my treat but won’t kill any progress I’m making towards my health goals.


Another is chips, another big one for me. I won’t buy a big bag as I know I will devour it, so instead I’ll grab a snack size of one of my favorites. If I don’t see a favorite, I tell myself next time and I’m good with that. One final example is eating out. When I am on point towards a health goal, I found I will allow myself to go out to eat once a week and get whatever I want, then enjoy it without guilt as I know I have been hitting all my health goals that week and even earlier that day. This helps keep my mindset focused on my version of healthy.


Fourth: Make Small Changes in Physical Activities


Physical activities are a core staple to just having a healthier lifestyle. Physical activities include more than just hitting the gym or running (which is what comes to mind when I talk to people), it also includes any activity that gets you moving. Activities like walking, hiking, biking, yoga, pilates, dancing, gardening, group sports, etc.


When starting a new physical activity, or even if you want to improve in a specific one, go slow and make small changes. Making too big of a change can increase chances of injuries as your body needs time to adjust. It can also increase chances of burnout.


If just starting out, small changes can include parking further out in the parking lot, taking the stairs, or even doing a couple body weight exercises at home. Now, while you are doing these changes, focus on just enjoying the activities and focus on what it brings you…physical and mental good health.


Fifth: Reframe


Our mindset can make or break a goal, and often we have a tendency to let our mindset deter us from achieving our goals. This actually leads me to my favorite saying which I say often, “Don’t let your mind get in the way of what you can achieve”.


There are many little ways to shift our minds to help us achieve our health goals, one way is reframing. Reframing is a strategy which helps one look at a situation from a different perspective. One example of this is how we look at “dieting”. The focus of “dieting” tends to be on what is being taken away, what one can not eat. Instead of looking at it as what you can’t eat, take a mental step back and refocus on what you can eat, what you can add to your plate which is going to help you achieve your goals.


Another example is you find yourself walking outside during your work break and it’s hot, and your first thought includes complaining about the temperature. How would you reframe it? One way is to think about being grateful for being able to step away from your desk and take a break from work while adding some positive movements which will help get you one step closer to your health goal.


If you have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me at renee@summittrailcs.com or you can find me on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You can also hear more information on my podcast: Body and Mind Strong found on most platforms.


Stay tuned for more blogs on helping you create a healthier, happier, stronger life for yourself and make sure you are doing at least one thing today that will get you one step closer to one of your goals. Have a great day!!

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