Deciding to invest in a healthy lifestyle change is more than just flipping the switch. Making sustainable lifestyle changes is a process that takes time, dedication and patience.
Psychologists have found that it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to become automatic, but the truth is that building and maintaining lifestyle changes is largely up to the individual.
For this reason, it's important to change your lifestyle to work with your life and give yourself grace when you find the pace that works for you. However, there are some simple strategies that can help you develop a lifestyle change plan that works for you.
Focus on the big picture
Lifestyle changes, like a puzzle. There are many parts to add to the big picture. Building habits in just one area of the puzzle leaves your big picture dimensionless. Your physical, mental and emotional health work together to make and destroy lifestyle changes. Therefore, it is important to understand how they all interact while developing the lifestyle change plan.
• Sleep: The average adult should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. During restful sleep, your body has time to regenerate and recharge. This time around is integral to a successful lifestyle change; Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, cravings, and fatigue, which can derail a successful lifestyle change.
• Water: Hydration is the key to most bodily functions. Without staying hydrated, neither your body nor your mind will be working with the lifestyle change process. Take a big bottle of water and drink!
• Stress: naturally tells your brain that taking good care of your body can reduce your overall stress levels. New habits will strengthen your stress management system and ultimately lead to overall stress management success. Focus on finding manageable habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine. You can create these powerful core routines while still working toward your long-term goals.
• Consumption: Nutrition is a key piece of the puzzle. When we feed our bodies with healthy ingredients, we can focus on creating and maintaining healthy habits. When we feed on junk food, we inevitably step out of the mainstream of our lifestyle. Focus on finding healthy alternatives to fast food that you can actually stick to.
• Exercise: Keeping active affects your physical and mental health. By finding a fun way to stay active, you'll release more endorphins that help your mind and body function at their best!
Set realistic and achievable goals
The goals you have set for yourself are essential to your overall success in making lifestyle changes. Focus on setting realistic goals. Instead of hoping to run a marathon in six months, try a 5 thousand steps, and work your way to the marathon. Setting realistic goals that you can achieve and keep them will help you maintain momentum and stay motivated.
Create structured daily activities related to goals
Incorporating activities into your day helps you stay on track with your goals. Instead of assuming that you will get it right away, plan fun activities that you can expect throughout the day that relate to your goal.
Create habits you can keep
For most people, it's unrealistic to assume that you will always be at the peak of your motivation. So think about how you can develop sustainable habits in your life, even when you are not on the road to health. Learning to swap out junk food for healthier options is one habit that you can likely maintain even when you aren’t constantly in the mood to go to the gym. Here are few fun alternatives you can try to get started:
• Swap Water for Soda- you can save over 20 grams of sugar by making the switch
• Swap Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream- not only do you save calories, but you also add healthy probiotics to the recipe!
• Swap an Apple for your Tea & Biscuits- having a morning apple and peanut butter instead of a peanut butter bagel saves calories, carbs, and adds nutrients to a balanced diet
Adopt new habits slowly and build on success
Building habits takes time. Be patient with yourself and understand that the fastest way forward isn’t always the smartest way forward. The goal in creating lifestyle changes isn’t to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. The goal is to build habits that are sustainable in your everyday life. So give yourself time to start small and build successes so that the bottom line is solid.
Find lifestyle friends
One of the easiest ways to make lifestyle changes is with a partner. Find a friend who is committed to the process and who can hold you accountable. This will help you develop new habits, stay motivated, and find someone to talk to about your travels.
Track your progress
An easy way to fail a change is to not keep track of your progress. Tracking your progress is critical to your continued success because it shows you how far you've come and where you want to go. Track your progress to learn from mistakes, see general trends, and pave the way for success.
Edit one action at a time
You don't have to do it all at once! In fact, it's next to impossible to make lasting lifestyle changes if you do it all at once. Lifestyle changes require patience and dedication. Your brain learns new skills, and building these neural pathways takes time and concentration. So focus on building one movement at a time.
Find the the diet that's right for you
Every body reacts differently to food, and not all metabolites work the same way. Cutting calories isn't the only way to be healthy, and in fact, many diets that eliminate entire food groups are unhealthy. Your body needs a healthy balance of nutrients, including healthy fats and carbohydrates. Finding the right nutritional balance for you will help you stay motivated and make lasting changes in your life.
Find the reason
If you want to simplify your lifestyle, find out why it's the most important thing. By understanding what your deeper goals are, you can stay motivated and positive along the way. When setting goals, it helps to focus on your overall health and lifestyle. If you motivate yourself with numerical indicators like weight control or the number of benches, or find the deeper reason for hobbies and daily activities like running with friends or playing with your grandchildren, you can develop sustainable habits.
If you are looking to loose weight and you have experienced that whenever you skip your diet you get back on to that level from where you have started. It is also very hard to stick to the strict diets like keto or low carb diet.
Instead, it is highly recommended to change your diet into more sustainable diet. Instead of having a strict diet, change your lifestyle with the help of gradual and steady changes. Either you are eating or exercising, always choose that you like the most and also it should be healthier too.