As we assess our health and think about what we can do better we usually consider starting at the beginning of the next week, month or in the New Year. I can certainly appreciate having a start which is easy to remember. However, is it really because you don’t want to do it and it’s an excuse to put it off? Studies show we exhibit this behavior to make ourselves feel better by having it “on the calendar” however; it’s a false sense of accomplishment. What are you really waiting for? All you truly have is “NOW.” The term “No time like the present” goes a long way in this case. If you are saying “But, I have so much going on right now,” “But, I’m too exhausted to do anything,” this is the perfect time to turn the tide. Look, you don’t have to make unrealistic changes and adjust your life so much that it’s all you can do to get through it and you are marking an “X” on each day in your calendar as it passes while praying for the end. This is not a healthy way to improve one’s health.
Lifestyle changes don’t have an expiration date.
The word “change” causes us to think negatively without even knowing what the change is, especially when it comes to changing routine. Stinks, I know, but the good news is you can interrupt the pattern and redirect yourself on the right path. For example, a small but effective lifestyle change can be as simple as drinking 16ozs of water in the morning before eating or drinking anything else for a number of weeks until a habit is formed. Next, you can add more green vegetables to meals by cooking and ordering less take out a few times a week. Making a few green smoothies a week to help you get the recommended amount of vegetables in a quick and easy way may be a great start. Make sure you are realistic about what you can accomplish. There is no point of overburdening yourself with an unachievable set of expectations. If you do this, it will fall to the wayside and leave you feeling disappointed in yourself. However, I will add, if your goals don’t make you feel a little uncomfortable, then they are not worth reaching for. You want to be able to stretch outside your comfort zone, but not so far you will abandon it within a short amount of time.
Before you begin, the first step is, to be honest with yourself about your health. If you have areas of focus you really want to work on, then write it all down. Break it out into bite sized pieces (pun intended). Create a realistic and achievable schedule to adhere to (consistent action is key). Understand it will take at least 30 days to form a habit so if you are asking too much of yourself, the chance of success is quite low. Once you adopt the behavior as part of your routine, add another and so on. Reaching a state in which you want to change didn’t happen overnight, so patience is a virtue on your nutrition lifestyle change journey. By chipping away some of the less desirable behaviors and replacing them with good practices take honesty, patience, self-respect and consistent action and maybe even the support of a friend, family member or coach.
No more “Buts.”
Get off your “But,” and get started on your nutrition lifestyle change journey now. You are worth it.
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