When it comes to creating a lasting healthy lifestyle, I’ll be the first to tell you it’s taken time. I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded. I’ve fallen off the wagon more times than I can count. But over the last year, I’ve learned a lot more about what it takes to get past the diet and into the lifestyle. And with practice and time, I’ve been able to make those changes stick.
I started S&S because I wanted to be able to share and encourage others who were looking to get healthy. And if I’m honest, it’s been great at encouraging me to live better. I never want to be the person that tells you guys do to something I wouldn’t do myself. Unless it involves eating cantaloupe because I’m sure it’s great and all but I can’t stand it. So today I want to share what I’ve learned about building a healthy lifestyle and how to make lasting changes.
One Step At A Time
This is the tip everyone tells you but it might take some time to click. Every lasting change I’ve ever made has been gradual and taken time. Even if I go to bed and think tomorrow I’m not going to do this, this or this, I know I’m setting myself up for failure. So instead I’ve learned to add one small change into my routine at a time. Personally, I don’t operate well when I feel like I have to do something. It makes me not want to do it. Instead I say I’m going to try to do something. Maybe for you it’s giving up soda for a day and then another day. For me, it’s currently adding a small ab circuit in my workout every other day. A little bit every few days can do a lot more than only trying every few months. Start small and let the good habits build on each other. Before you know it, you’ll be living the healthy lifestyle you’ve always dreamed.
Give Yourself Positive Influences
There’s something about the start of a new journey that makes it easy. You’re super hyped for the changes and everything that comes along with your new goals. But how do you stick with it 3 months in? One of my go-to things when I’m just not feeling it is to watch some of my favorite youtubers. Whether it’s Sarah from Sarah’s Day or Victoria from Inthefrow, finding the positive resources you can go to when you need that extra push helps. This might be some fitness instagrammers or a healthy food blog for you. Whatever you decide know that half the battle in making lasting changes is mental. Keeping yourself surrounded by those positive influences can help keep you motivated and pushing forward.
Take Time Off
Yep, I said it. I’m telling you to take a break. You’re welcome. But I say this from experience. Building a healthy lifestyle is marathon not a sprint. And if you want something to last, sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a beat and come back. I always say that I’m not a fan of calorie counting and for a good reason. Because everyone I’ve ever met that has counted calories and lost weight has gained it back. Myself included. If you’re going on vacation for a week and can’t hit the gym every day, it’s okay. Maybe you’re feeling burnt out with your schedule and meal choices. Don’t be afraid to take a day or a week off to let the stress go. If you stop feeling like you’re constantly battling yourself, you’ll start feeling motivated. And before you know it, you’ll be dying to eating loads of salads and greens again.
Get Honest With Yourself
No matter how long you’ve been building this lifestyle, it can be easy to get off track. And while I don’t think you need to be perfect, I do think it’s important that you take time to check in with yourself. I’m currently in the middle of a week of food journaling. You’ll read all about it here. But one thing I’ve learned so far is that I tend to snack a bit when I’m tired. I reach for a handful of cashews or pistachios to help boost my energy. I know that food journaling can be bad for some if done for long periods of time. However, I do think that getting honest with yourself about things occasionally helps you make better changes. This could mean looking at your workouts and realizing that xyz workout isn’t quite shaping you the way you want. Or maybe doing a week of journaling to realize you’ve been consuming a bit more sugar than you’d like and it’s throwing your energy off. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate the path you’re on and make changes.
Be Kind To Yourself
And lastly, remember to be kind to yourself. We all get off track. There are going to be a few too many days in a row that you eat cookies or something else. Just remember, it’s a healthy lifestyle. Take the time to acknowledge why you might have been overindulging or skipping the gym for weeks. Forgive yourself and start again. If you view living healthy as an all or nothing thing, you’ll only ever see it as impossible. Build a lifestyle that allows room for less healthy choices occasionally gives you the chance to indulge within limits. But if you get off track, it’s okay. Don’t spend so long beating yourself up that one day turns into 3 months. A little bit of kindness internally and externally goes a long way.
Wherever you’re at in your journey, I hope that this helps you. And if you’re currently working on building a new healthy habit, I’d love to know what! Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know.
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