How do I make a positive change in my life? How do I create better habits? How can I work on living a healthier lifestyle?
If you are asking yourself these questions let me help you get started. I truly believe that the first thing you need to look at if you are wanting to make a change is how you are going to stay consistent. Consistency and sustainability are the two most important qualities in achieving a healthy lifestyle.
Consistency is sticking to something despite everything. Despite ANY excuses or any adversity you remain consistent with your habits.
So if you want to become healthier or make a positive lifestyle change, you first need to REALIZE that consistency is the most important aspect. It’s not a different diet you are going to eat or a new “superior” exercise regime. Finding something you can be the most consistent with (preferably something you enjoy) is the most important thing.
But it’s hard to just change a lifestyle, pattern, or routine. It’s hard to just change an ingrained habit. So how do we make a change and continue this day after day, month after month, and year after year?
Well the good news is that after you have reached a certain time threshold (this will be different for everyone), your new routine will start to become a new habit and it will get easier. But it doesn’t mean you won’t have to continue to work on willpower or motivation. It will be a constant journey with no finish line and you just have to embrace this idea.
When you first start a new change you MUST be patient. Nothing drastic and great comes over night. Plus take into account that consistency is something that is built up over time. Although results may not come right away, they WILL if you stick with it – I promise.
Here is a five step activity that will help you find the motivation for change and can help you stick with something new when you’re having a hard time.
One: Visualize yourself in six months or beyond that. Imagine what kind of person you can become if you treat yourself and your body better. Think about these questions: How would it feel if you lose that extra weight you have been wanting to lose for years? Think about the feeling of loving every inch of your body? Think about how it would feel to have only positive thoughts about yourself and 100% believing in yourself? Think about being the person you ALWAYS wanted to be? How would these things feel for you? In what ways would you change the way you see yourself or talk to yourself?
Two: Now write the answers to these questions down. I’m serious! Grab a pen and write down specifically what your future would look like and how you would feel if you changed.
Three: Now write down your why. Why do you feel like you need to change? Everyones got a reason to get into better shape or decide to change their diet. Could be for your kids. Could be constant feelings of inadequacy. Could be because you suffer from a mental illness and you’re looking for better ways to cope. Everyone has got there why. So what is yours?
Four: Now for the heavier stuff. Write down how you feel after overeating. How does it feel to wake up the next day after a night of crushing as much food as you can? How does it feel after ordering and eating the extra large portion rather than the small? How does it feel to not drink enough water and KNOW that you ate way too much food? How does it feel to decide to skip out on exercise and stay on the couch?
*If these kinds of things are positive feelings for you then that is OKAY there could be no need to make a change in your life if you are happy. Just keep feeling those positive emotions! At the end of the day we just want positivity and happiness in our lives. But if these questions are negatively affecting your life then try to remember that the next time you’re faced with a choice.
It’s really NOT about looking better, it’s all about FEELING better. So asking yourself these questions will help you understand how you feel in hopes to start feeling better about yourself and feeling better about your life. Then you can start working towards your dreams, crushing your goals, and be that role model for so many others in your life that may need it.
Five: The last thing I want you to write down is what you can do TODAY to help achieve your future goals. You can write this down everyday if it keeps you focused. This will help you focus on things one day at a time. If you are caught up too much in the future you think too much of how hard things are going to be, you’re never going to develop the self awareness of how you feel at that moment. It makes it harder to practice the will power and discipline today if your mind isn’t “in” today or the present moment.
These visualizations and questions can absolutely help you stay consistent. Staying mentally focused and driven is something that many people forget they have to work on BEFORE starting or incorporating a healthy lifestyle change and habits. Being self aware is also so important. When deciding to live a healthier lifestyle many people will bounce from one fad diet or experiment to the next with failure after failure. When failures occur it makes it so hard to continue.
There are only three things that I personally need to do in order to have a great day and I remind myself of these every morning: drink 3-4 litres of water, move (could be a walk, could be the gym, could be taking the stairs more), meditate.
Work on the mental part first. It is so very important. Do my five step activity first before looking at new diets or new workouts. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt! You are way stronger than you think, you just have to find it up top first!