7 Ways to Build a Healthy Lifestyle
Doing pull-ups and unassisted handstands are on my bucket list. I can’t do either…yet. Why? Because as much as I’d like to be able to use just my mind to achieve these goals, it’ll only happen if I take action.
Ok, so those are my goals and maybe not yours, but you get the point. We all have aspirations and things we wish or want to achieve.
Spoiler alert: nothing can be achieved without putting in the work and doing it consistently.
You already know what to do. It’s no secret that eating nutritious foods and being active are necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. So, let’s dive right into the challenges and easy ways to overcome them. It’s action that leads to building healthy habits. The way to bridge the gap between knowing and doing is mindset and behavior. These tips will help you make living a healthy lifestyle easier and more accessible.
Start small and simple.
We’ve already covered this in How to Start Your Wellness Journey. The goal is to minimize the effort. So make it easy and attainable. This will allow you to build successes and therefore build momentum. It’s more important to take micro steps and build momentum than for everything to be laid out perfectly.
Use your calendar.
If it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t exist. Block off time to exercise, to meal plan or whatever tasks you want to follow through on. Not only are you reinforcing it as a priority, but every time you look at your calendar it acts as a visual nudge or reminder. When you see it, then it’s more likely that you’ll follow through.
Outsource the heavy lifting to make it easier.
The idea here is to take some of the time and energy off your plate. A lot of people are resistant to this because they judge it and say “I can do that myself” Yes, yes, you absolutely can and at the same time it’s ok to ask for help. Something has to give so what are you willing to let go of and find out what or who is available to reduce the burden?
Rather than cutting up all your fruits and veggies, try buying them pre-cut. Rather than cooking your own protein, buy already prepared protein like turkey, grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and plant-based options like hummus, lentils. Rather than come up with a dinner plan every night, try using a meal service. Rather than go grocery shopping if you hate it and/or it’s too time consuming, try having your groceries delivered. Rather than come up with your own workout plan, try taking a class. Let the instructor create the playlist and program everything so all you have to do is show up.
Get back on track and recover from mistakes faster.
No one is perfect, things come up, expect the unexpected and have a plan to get back on track. I love the idea of “never miss twice” from James Clear. Rather than giving up when you fall, commit to a better choice the next time you can. So let’s say that you miss a workout, then commit to doing something active the next day. If you don’t feel like it, then keep it to the bare minimum and something you can mentally convince yourself to do. If you overdo it on a night out, make a healthy choice the next chance you get. The most important thing is to let it go. Remind yourself it’s in the past and there’s nothing you can do about it now and redirect your focus to what’s right in front of you. That will reignite your momentum.
Anticipate when your plan might be compromised.
A night out, vacation, a busy day all have the potential of getting in the way of staying on track. If you’re prepared though, you can come out of those situations feeling like a rockstar. The only way to learn to anticipate these obstacles is to run into them. That first time you might not handle it like a boss so embrace the learning. When you fall down, it teaches you to learn to anticipate challenging situations in the future and prevent them. For example, have you ever run out of gas? Locked yourself out of the house? Left without your phone or wallet? I bet you never let that happen again because you created a system. That’s why mistakes are such an important part of the process.
When you’re getting back on track, eat on repeat.
Pick a few simple go-to meals that you LOVE and repeat them throughout the week. It may sound boring so the keyword here is love because if you love it, you’ll look forward to it and you won’t get sick of it for awhile. Dawn Jackson Blatner brilliantly coined this concept Delicious Monotony.
Don’t like to cook? Then assemble instead.
You do not have to cook to eat a healthy meal. If you’re tapped out on energy and don’t feel like cooking, which happens to all of us at times, then choose to be resourceful and assemble it instead. Be resourceful by using the prepared section and buy already grilled veggies, a sweet potato and grilled salmon. Voila! There’s a balanced meal with no cooking required. Another idea is to buy bagged salad, a wrap and chicken and dump the salad into the wrap, add some chicken, dressing, roll it up and there you go. There are plenty of pre-made or pre-cut options that you can lean on to help you build a healthy meal or snack. Yep, I’m talking about the individual servings of guac and hummus. Dig or dip, whatever you prefer, in.