Some of the biggest lifestyle changes people make are linked to leading a more active and healthy lifestyle. Every year, millions of people worldwide commit themselves to resolutions where they dedicate themselves to exercising more or eating healthier. Unfortunately, only a small number of them succeeds in making these changes. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself and keeping up with a lifestyle change, try following some of these tips.
It might look like this is easier said than done, and it mostly is. But, once you make yourself start changing those stubborn unhealthy habits, it is a lot easier to continue. Studies have shown that people who start working on their New Year’s resolutions right after Christmas holidays tend to be more satisfied with their results, and more persistent in keeping up with these decisions. So, stop waiting for that perfect moment and just start making changes. Not tomorrow, but yesterday.
Make gradual changes
Changing too many things at once can easily come as a shock, especially when it comes to eating habits. Make sure to take changes easy and involve them one by one. When it comes to exercise, you can overestimate your body’s ability to handle the stress. This is why you should start every exercise with a warmup session and finish it with a relaxing stretching session, and never go over the limits of your comfort in the beginning. Once you get in shape, you can gradually add to the number of reps or increase the weight, but don’t do so until your body tells you it can take it. Considering dietary changes, you should also take things slow to see whether you have an allergic reaction to some food. If you completely change everything you eat, there is no way to figure out which food is the cause of these potential problems.
Create an eating schedule
If you are making dietary changes, it’s always better to have a plan, and stick to it. Focus your activities around your meals, and not vice versa. This means that by having the same number of meals every day, always at the same time, you are training your body to be hungry right at the moment when you are supposed to eat. If you miss a meal by an hour it is still better to eat than to skip it. Make an eating schedule that suits the needs of your body best, and try different schedules until you find just the right one.
Plan your meals ahead
Along with the eating schedule, you should plan ahead what you eat, as well. Planning meals ahead gives you an opportunity to prepare yourself balanced meals which your body will love. This way you can discover more recipes and save money by cooking at home. Bring your own meals to work. It’s easy to avoid taking that last minute pizza slice once you have a tasty meal prepared and brought from home. To make this happen you need a good freezer. A fridge is an important piece of equipment in your kitchen to make your food edible for longer, so that you can freeze it and heat it up again when needed. This is why it is extremely important to choose the ideal freezer for your own needs at home. If you don’t have much time to prepare meals, think of investing in a quality electric stove which is energy efficient and easy to use, and will save you time throughout the week once you have a good fridge, as well. You can make your meals more quickly and more ecologically friendly.
There’s always time for exercise
When you don’t exercise regularly, the first thing that comes to mind as an excuse is that you don’t have the time for it. Often, this isn’t really true, which you can easily see for yourself by taking track of how many hours a day it takes you to do the things you regularly do. This way, you can see that you will find at least two or three hours a week to do a bit of exercise. The Word Health Organization’s recommended level of exercise for average adults is 150 minutes per week, which you can easily do in three one-hour exercise sessions. On the other hand, if you really do not have the time –make some. Rearrange your schedule to find some time for exercise. Your future self will be very thankful.
The most important thing about making changes is to keep holding on until you are satisfied with the results. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your new lifestyle is going to take some time too. Remember that changing your habits is only a psychological mechanism based on repetition and exposure time. The longer you refrain yourself from doing something, the less attractive it will become. This goes for addiction as well, but it might be harder to quit alcohol or smoking this way without any help. If you lose motivation on the way, talk to someone about it. Quitting should be the last thing that comes to mind if you are already halfway to making the best changes for yourself.
Remember that making changes is easier if you don’t take the challenge alone. If you take on a diet change or exercise with a close friend, you’ll enjoy it more and have a motivation companion who knows just what you’re going through, right by your side. Where there’s will you will find a way.
About the author:
Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”