It’s January 2019 – a new year with new hopes to make changes! Majority of Canadians (approximately 70%) are making New Year’s resolutions. Sadly by February, 80% of people will either give up or fail. The discouraging fact about setting expectations around a resolution

Carole Blackburn - Life and Wellness Coach

Healthy Lifestyle HABIT Changes for Results

It’s January 2019 – a new year with new hopes to make changes! Majority of Canadians (approximately 70%) are making New Year’s resolutions. Sadly by February, 80% of people will either give up or fail. The discouraging fact about setting expectations around a resolution, is that most people want to see immediate results. But results only happen if we create or change habits in order to achieve a long lasting goal.

How to Start

Let’s talk specifically about Healthy Lifestyle Changes: the top “resolutions” most people are making.

We have all heard it over and over again that living a healthy lifestyle will not only prolong your life, but it will also make life as you know it, that much better to live.

All of the valuable information that is out there is very logical, quite doable, and makes total sense. But how easy it is for any given person to really live a healthier lifestyle, if you are not yet accustomed to it? What does that actually look like? How do you filter through all the information we are exposed to, and know what are the best practices out there?

The answer is as simple as it can get. You need to do what you can, to create a lasting lifestyle enhancement that will benefit YOU. The first steps are taking time to assess what your needs are, and how you are currently doing things. Understand that not everyone will approach the changes needed in the same way. We have to take into account that we all live differently, and all of the factors that play into how and what we do to live a healthy lifestyle. What may work for one person, may not work for someone else.

Think Long Term

Living a healthy lifestyle is just that. It’s a lifestyle. It is not just something you do for two months and then stop, yet expecting to see lasting changes.

I will give you an example. When people I come across talk about ‘going on a diet to lose weight’, I tend to cringe a little. Diets, in this context, are a limited time restriction of certain foods to lose weight. For the average person, ‘diets’ typically show the results that are desired. But unfortunately, when someone goes off a diet, he/she will most likely gain all the weight back (and maybe even more) than when they started.

Any type of lifestyle change takes both time, and the willingness to change current habits and routines, or to make new habits a part of your everyday life. It’s an ongoing work in progress that needs to be attainable and sustainable. Unless you are an athlete preparing for a major competition, and need a certain temporary diet to get to your goal, than what you should really be doing is creating a new way of how you approach your desired goal (in this specific case, nutrition) that you can sustain long term, and do so in a well-balanced way.

Here are some areas to consider when you are looking to change, enhance or maintain a good healthy living lifestyle:

  • Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Mindful Relaxation
  • Sleep
  • Self-Care

Lifestyle Tips

This may seem like a daunting list. Imagine having to assess each of those areas of your life? If there is a habitual change that needs to happen in one or more areas, it can seem overwhelming and discouraging. But, it doesn’t have to be a scary uphill battle.

Key points to put into practice:

  • Target one very specific and clear goal at a time. For example, instead of saying “I need to exercise more”, the more specific goal would be “I will walk for 30 minutes a day, 3 times per week”. The more specific you are, the clearer the vision is to make the necessary changes in order to create new habits or change your old habits (in this case, not getting any exercise at all during the week).
  • Try to avoid doing everything all at once. Master one change at a time. Often those new skills and habits will translate into other areas of your life.
  • Another way to ensure you will see success in a healthier living lifestyle, is to have visual or audio cues. We are conditioned by cues to create or change habits. If a change you want to see is to drink more water during the day, then leave your favorite drinking glass by the sink, so when you see it, it will cue you to drink water. Or put an alert on your phone to remind you to drink water. Eventually it will become second nature to just drink more water.
  • While you are setting goals for yourself, keep your internal dialogue (self-talk) positive. Think of what it is you want to do, rather than what you don’t want to do. The way we think and the words we speak impacts our actions. If you set forth the positive change you would like to achieve, you will feel and act in a more motivated and uplifted manner, rather than what you don’t want to do or cannot not do. We manifest how we think and feel into action.
  • Seek professional assistance when needed. That way to you can get the proper guidance you need to reach your specific goal(s).

Self Assess

One of the hardest steps in this process, is taking a look at yourself and identify the habits that need to change (if change is needed). Although it is good to reflect internally, what you want to avoid is self-doubt or being too hard on yourself. A lack of confidence in yourself can be the hardest hurdle to get past, but I want to encourage you and tell you that you can achieve your goals. It is never too late to create the Healthy Living Lifestyle you have always desired for yourself.

If you would like more information on how to identify some areas of your life that you would like to see change happen to contribute to a healthier living lifestyle, OR to assist you in developing a strategic plan to achieve your goals with accountability and motivation, please feel free to contact me via email: [email protected] or call 613-297-2925.