Four Ways to Get Back on Track
New Podcast Episode: Are You Struggling with Your New Year’s Resolution-Here’s Four Ways to Get You Back on Track
I know you were excited about the arrival of the new year. This was going to be the year you kept the promise you made to yourself to get in shape. Not just a little bit, but you were going to have a body like Beyonce or Arnold Schwarzenegger. You might have had a hundred reasons to make the switch; you are struggling with a chronic illness, and you did not want it to get worse, or have a family history of diabetes or high blood pressure. You want to protect yourself as much as possible. The truth is that making lasting changes to your lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint.
Many of us who intend to make healthier choices; find our plans can be quickly derailed. Before we know it, we are back where we started and doing everything we promised ourselves we would not do. If it helps, just know that you are not alone; according to Forbes, 80% of folks admitted to abandoning their New Year’s Resolutions by February. So, what can you do if your wellness goals have derailed? Well, I am glad you asked.
Creating a healthy lifestyle is easier when you have a strategy and detailed plan to follow. Using the right tools can simplify staying on track and bring you long-term success.
Here are my four healthy living tips to jumpstart or re-jumpstart your journey to a healthier lifestyle:
Proactively Manage Your Stress
I personally do not think we talk enough about stress when we are designing wellness goals. Losing weight is stressful all by itself; add on the management of a chronic illness while you are trying to manage the responsibilities of your everyday life, and you could be on your way to a total meltdown. Managing your stress can be a fantastic way to start living a healthier life right now. Stress left unchecked will increase your cortisol levels and your desire to eat foods that are high in fat and sugar. A Harvard study found that “overeating isn’t the only stress-related behavior that can add pounds. Stressed people also lose sleep, exercise less, and drink more alcohol, all of which can contribute to excess weight.” You will find that life is more enjoyable when you have a stress management strategy.
Try this technique the next time you feel stressed and out of control. This strategy begins with something you already do every day: stop and take a deep breath! Try to breathe in through your nose and out through your nose.
Using simple deep breathing exercises will give you a short break from the situation causing stress. During your breathing break, take a moment to relax and create new priorities in your mind. Then, choose one thing you can do to help defuse the problem when you are done with your deep breathing exercise.
Taking a small action right away will put you on the path to solving your challenge. In addition, just knowing that you are being proactive can reduce your stress at once.
Once you have taken that first step, break down what you need to do into manageable chunks. Stress melts away as you pursue your action plan one step at a time.
Eat More Nutritious Foods and Exercise
We all should heed another healthy living tip: exercising and eating nutritious foods. You give your body what it needs to be happy and healthy when you exercise and feed it the right fuel. The CDC, the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity each week.
Try to increase the amount of natural, unprocessed foods you eat. For example, include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet and cut out the greasy, high-calorie fast foods. Most foods in cans or boxes are devoid of nutrition because they have been over-processed or contain too many additives.
Anything that involves moving can bring you some much-needed exercise. Uncomplicated ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily routines include taking the stairs instead of elevators, going for walks, or short stretching routines.
Exercising not only burns calories but also invigorates your brain and the rest of your body with increased oxygen and hormones that make you feel good!
You will be pleasantly surprised with how much better you feel when you eat the right foods and exercise. As a result, you will be healthier, have a sharper mind, enjoy more energy, sleep better, and live well.
Thoughts and Emotions
Healthy living also includes your thoughts and emotions. So, it is just as essential to keep your emotions healthy as it is to keep your physical body healthy.
Do you have a challenging time thinking positively? Are negative thoughts running through your mind even when you feel happy? These negative thoughts can steal your joy and hold you back from the life you desire.
When you implement healthy living strategies, be systematic about transforming the negative into the positive. Do not dismiss your negative thoughts but ascertain where they are coming from. For example, are you uncertain about your future or upset about something that happened in your past? Make peace with your past, and focus on your present, not the future. Do not miss the beauty of your present life by splitting your attention between the past and the future. As you switch to live more intentionally, you will find that you can more easily achieve your goals and live a vibrant, fulfilling life.
Positive affirmations can help you develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are the most effective tool for replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
Affirmations are concise, positive statements you can use every time you start to feel challenged, stressed, or negative.
Positive affirmations can be as simple as, “I give myself permission to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.” These statements will affirm to your subconscious that a healthy lifestyle is important to you and keep you on track toward your goals.
Today your assignment is to implement one of these tools and strategies into your action plan for a minimum of 30 days; then, if you feel comfortable, add another tool. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed or stressed out and increase your chance of success.
One last thing, I want to encourage you to give yourself some grace. As I said before, this is a marathon, not a sprint; there will be times when you just do not want to work out or meal prep. There will be days will you choose a donut over an apple. Beating yourself up will only make you resist trying again. Instead of saying I will never lose weight, try saying today I will start over. Connect with your support system or workout buddy. Grace, forgiveness, and self-love will give you the fuel to keep going when times get rough. Remember, slow progress is still progress. You can do this; I believe in you. And as always,; if I can assist, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Or DM on Instagram @iamreneereid.
With Peace and Love,
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