Set realistic fitness goals. If you feel you’re about to overeat, jot down the quantity as a visual warning of a bad diet decision. Buy groceries from a farmer’s market. Walk 1000 extra steps in a day, and do 5 pushups and 10 squats daily. Reduce your portion size by using smaller plates for dinner and stowing the extra food out of sight in the refrigerator. Treat yourself for even the little goals you achieve.
“I want to change my life. I need to change my life.”
If this is you, wondering how to create a healthy lifestyle, then feast on these healthy lifestyle tips proven to help you get more fit.
Making lasting lifestyle changes, especially in the context of fitness and weight loss, takes dedication — but it’s doable. Most people know to exercise regularly, eat well, and reduce stress in order to make a change for the better.
But somewhere between knowing what to do and actually doing it, we fall into the “Abyss of Inertia.” Why is that? And what can we do to move from stuck to started?
7 Healthy Lifestyle Tips
It’s easy to be at level 1 (I’d like to lose 50 pounds) and wish to be at level 10 (I lost 50 pounds), yet it’s extremely challenging to get from 1 to 10 unless you have the steps in between mapped out. You know where you are and where you want to be, but don’t know how to get there.
Fortunately, we know and we’re going to share! That’s what 35 years each as certified fitness pros and Alexandra’s advanced degree in Counseling allow us to claim.
Success: Simple, Small, Sustainable, And Specific Steps
To make lifestyle changes, both big and small, make a 1-10 numbered list. One = where you are now; ten = what your new, improved, fit life will look like. Where do you want to be?, aka — your goal.
List the steps it will take to get to this goal. Choose Simple, Specific, Sustainable Steps that will lead to Success. It’s all about the letter S!
An Example: Overwhelming Goal
I want to lead a healthier lifestyle. This statement is rather vague, making it hard to know if/when you’re successful.
A better starting point might be: I want to eat more berries and veggies, select food and companies I can trust to nourish me well, and move at least 150 minutes each week. From there you plug in small changes that you will actually do.
Instead of thinking on a grand scale (though we wouldn’t mind living on a grand scale in Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed), think of the least you can do.
Multiple easy choices go further than grand, sweeping plans that come to nought. Unless you’re the broom in Beauty and the Beast.
7-Step Plan – A Sample
- Before you eat something that may hinder reaching your goal, write down the food. Seeing “four scoops of tuna salad” written down may help you decide to just take two scoops, or even just one.
- Shop at a farmer’s market, co-op, or the perimeter of grocery stores (any place where healthy food dominates the choices).
- Buy plant-based foods, particularly from sources you research and trust.
- Add 1,000 steps a day to your movement.
- Serve dinner on smaller than standard plates, then put all the extra food into the fridge so it’s not just sitting out where you’ll be tempted to mindlessly eat seconds.
- Do 5 pushups, from knees or toes, and 10 squats.
- Reward your achievements by writing down the extra energy you have, or getting a massage, or calling a supportive friend. Choose any reward that is positive (not junk food) and acknowledges your hard work.
There’s More To It
You’ve probably figured out that thousands of options exist that would fit into your seven steps. Mix and match according to your goals. And of course, making a change is really way more than seven steps, though picking a manageable number will get you moving forward.
The sample plan above has nothing earth-shattering or magical, which is good. It means you don’t need to wait for the earth to move or a magic wand to sparkle.
You just need to make small decisions repeatedly until they become a habit and you realize three months have passed, and you are now eating more healthfully and have dropped the 20 pounds.
Won’t it be great to shift from “I need to change my life?” to “I know how to change my life for the better and I did it!”