Today I want to talk about how to get started at changing your lifestyle. I hear people say it all the time, I don’t know how to get into shape, it seems like a huge change. They get overwhelmed at the prospect of doing a 180 with their habits and life choices. They also believe that they can just completely change all their previous thoughts in regards to eating healthy. This will NOT work!
The reason this will not work, is because these bad habits are learned habits. Just like it took a long time to learn these bad habits, it will take a take to unlearn them! It will also take time to then learn good habits.
See the key word there? Time. Meaning you will not have results tomorrow. Meaning if you don’t give yourself the time to learn and change gradually, you will go back to old habits and bad choices. So how do you change this?
Change is never easy. Even in the best of circumstances, change can throw us for a loop and shake our lives up. Changing from an unhealthy to healthy lifestyle is no different. Difficult decisions will have to be made, and learning to say No will be the best tool you have. Here’s the first step from the 4 step plan.
- Write down WHY you want to make these changes… what’s your motivation?
While this might seem like a small thing, it’s actually one of the most crucial steps. If you don’t know why you want to be healthy, when things get tough, what will you turn too? You will have no reason to keep going when it gets hard. You’ll have no reason to push through when you want to quit. And you will want to quit. Like I said before, change is hard, even if it’s for the better. So think about the why’s, and write them down so you can look back on them later.
- Make a commitment to your goals.
So you’ve got your reasons written down, and now you need to with down your goals and make a commitment to them. List out everything you want to accomplish, but remember to make them reasonable and avoid big statement goals. For example, do not write down, lose 50 pounds. Instead, writing down lose 10 pounds this month is a much more attainable goal.
Also, make sure there are plenty of non-scale goals as well. Do 2 5ks a month, add more veggies to my diet, drop 1 pant size in a month, do 10 push-ups in a row, etc, are all goals that when accomplished, will help with your overall scale goal.
- Identify 2 bad habits- then replace them.
Like I mentioned at the start of the article, if you are just starting out on your life changing journey, we want to avoid doing a 180 in terms of habits and decisions. So pick 2 bad habits, or lack of good habits, that you want to change. For example, if you never ever eat any fruits or veggies, try adding a Nutribullet shake a few days a week in the morning. Some other examples are…
-Replace soda with an ICE drink or other low sugar drinks, or better yet, WATER!
-Start taking 20 minute walks 3 days a week
-Cut out snacking after 8pm
-No carbs for dinner
-Do sit-ups during every commercial while watching tv.
-Substitute 1 snack a day with an apple or fruit that you like.
-Start meal prepping the night before
-If you always skipped breakfast- start having even a piece of toast in the morning.
Pick 2 from the list above, or think of 2 on your own. Do these for 2 weeks, then every week after that, add 1 good habit and replace a bad one. Before you know it, you’ll be looking to add more complex and harder goals, and will start to see results.
Last step: Feel amazing about every accomplishment!! And never ever give up. For some it takes a few weeks, for others months, for some years. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are working toward a goal of being the best you can. Work hard. Keep every accomplishment and motivation in mind, even if you fail throughout, and use them to keep going.
Find support- find someone or a group who can support you and help you keep going. If you are starting out, do the research (or keep doing it since you’ve probably already started since you’re here reading this). There are plenty of apps that can help you track your calories whenever you are ready for that, and most of those apps also have a “community” or “connection” section where you can read blogs of other men and women going through the same thing. As you see their success, it can help you move through any difficulties you are having.
Always keep moving forward- this is important, since you don’t want to remain stagnant on your journey. What I would recommend is every time you put a check mark next to one of your goals, add a new one to the list. If your goal was to do 10 push-ups in a row, and you accomplished that, go for 15. Then 20. Then 25. Keep going. If your goal was to be able to run on the treadmill for a full mile, and you achieve it, go for 2 miles next. Or try to decrease your mile time. Or both! Because why not right? You can definitely accomplish what you set your mind too. You just have to want it bad enough, and be resourceful enough to find the tools for success.
Final word: find the courage to jump into the change, set your goals, and crush them! Do it 100%, because when you give it your all, you will be successful. Good luck and comment below if anything resonates with you. 🙂 Peace!