Healthy living is supported by focus and determination. No one can force you to live a healthy lifestyle, although the consequences of not doing so can lead to illness, discomfort and a lowered quality of life. If you’re ready to make a change and start living healthier now, here are five steps you can take:
Set Your Focus
It’s difficult to set a course and chart how well you’re doing without a goal or target to shoot for. Start by setting clear fitness goals and objectives you can focus on to give you something to aspire to, and put them in writing. Whether you want to lose a specific amount of weight, run a faster mile or bench press a certain amount of resistance, setting a focus will make it easier to get motivated and chart your progress.
Keep a Food and Exercise Journal
Keeping food and exercise journals allows you to see what exactly you’re putting into your body as well as how you’re doing physically. Chart portions and calorie amounts as well as calories burned while exercising. You can also chart things like carbs consumed, sets and reps of exercises, fatigue level, etc. This kind of journaling can help keep you accountable for your activities from week to week and allow you to fine-tune as you go.
You don’t have to go it alone, and many people are far more motivated when they can talk with like-minded people who are on the same path. Whether you work out with a friend, find a healthy living support group or hire a personal trainer, finding support is a key component of success in any endeavor. At the very least, connect with someone you can call when you just need a pep talk.
Change Your Environment
New habits require an environment that is supportive of them. If you’re trying to cut fat, calories and carbs, get rid of unhealthy trigger foods from your pantry and refrigerator and resolve not to buy them anymore. Remove excess clutter to improve the “feng shui” or energy flow in your home. Commit to keeping a clean, clear and clutter-free environment without tempting unhealthy foods and beverages around.
Manage Your Stress
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to illness and disharmony in life. Make a commitment to having healthy living tools, techniques, methods and activities you can use to manage stress in your life. Each individual is different, so this plan will have to be customized to your needs and preferences. For some, regular exercise or walks out in nature can be the best stress relief. For others, it might be meditation, prayer, or time alone reading a book. Talking with a good friend, playing with a pet, keeping a gratitude journal or doing volunteer work can also raise your vibe and outlook.
Healthy living requires a commitment to making conscious choices. Start using these five tips today, and you’ll be on the road to living a healthier lifestyle.