You know what you need to do.
Healthy food choices, healthy exercise, self-management…sure, you know what to do. You’ve been thinking about it for a long time. But actually doing it, day after day? That’s daunting. You may have already tried, and feel like nothing happened. Or you may make new resolutions every night, and fail every day.
You CAN make meaningful changes. You can build healthy habits. You can live more satisfied with your choices than you have ever been before.
So, no giving up! Here are seven things that will get you where you want to go; seven steps to the healthy habits that lead to success.
1. Get confidant. Small do-able steps in the right direction allow you to succeed. Begin every change with a plan you feel 80% confident you can successfully do. Big steps that you can’t actually take leave you stuck and hopeless. Walk a path that works for you, and be proud of your progress!
2. Get safe. Get rid of the sweets still hovering there on the counter; throw away the savory treats lurking in the refrigerator. Be ruthless. Those special foods do have a purpose-they are a gift of celebration to be shared with those you love. But they are not healthy nourishment for every day. Get rid of them.
3. Get stocked. Buy some really cool healthy stuff to eat. Check out the health food store, or the organic section of the grocery store-and get creative. You can’t simply eat less of the same old thing-it will not work unless you’re actually in lock up, and even then you’ll be miserable. You must eat MORE-more of the healthy new foods. Yes, I know it costs more to eat healthy. Your life is worth supporting. Buy the good stuff.
4. Get moving. Start your exercise with something you can do, but be sure it’s challenging enough that you’ll actually see results. The gym may not seem possible-yet-but a new exercise video may be just the place to start. And if you’ve been down this road before, and know you need more, why not try a personal trainer? I know you’re not Oprah-but hey, with just a few months investment, you could make some real changes!
5. Get the picture. Harness the power of guided imagery. Start each day with five minutes of future-casting. Sit, breathe, and visualize your healthy day, in all its temptation-filled detail. See yourself making the right choices, turning away from the negative choices you know will still be there, turning to new foods and new behaviors like walking and exercising. Let it happen first in your mind. You will be amazed at the support you will discover when the actual choice time comes-and that support can make all the difference.
6. Get specific. If you can’t clearly see each healthy choice, all day long and into the night, then those healthy choices can’t happen. You can’t do what you don’t know. So get specific. Get information. Join a support group on-line or in person. You can’t make hazy choices. You need the healthy option to shine clearly in each moment of decision. And you may discover that some of those “salads” are over 1000 calories! Get the real info you need to see the results you want.
7. Get on it. We don’t live forever, here in this body. Your life has a purpose; your time here has meaning. You can’t live your adventure richly and fully when you’re bogged down in unhealthy choices, struggling with an unhealthy body.
You are a beloved child of God. Respect that truth. Live a healthy, joyful life!