When someone asks, “How do I live a healthier lifestyle?” I never quite know how to answer. It’s not that I don’t have great lifestyle tips for eating healthy or losing weight; I have all sorts of suggestions. The problem is that healthy lifestyles take a lot more than just one thing. Personal health and wellness are multidimensional and require a balance of several aspects of your life.
My guess is, if you’re asking this question, you probably want to live your best life but don’t know where to start. This is why I decided to let you in on my number one, biggest tip to living a healthier and more fulfilling life…
A Healthier Lifestyle Starts With Intent
It’s not enough to want to change or even to set goals. If you’re not starting each day with intent, you’re not holding yourself accountable.
Intentions differ from goals. Goals are task-oriented, come from the mind, and often have an end result. Intentions are emotional and come from within. They are what drive us each day to make the tough choices and to keep moving forward.
Start with why. Why do you want to live a healthier lifestyle?
An intent is who we aspire to be — as individuals, in our communities, our families and our careers. It is how we wish to see ourselves and how we want the world to see us.
If you want to achieve a healthier lifestyle, begin each day with clear intent. Visualize the person you want to be and give yourself the strength and confidence to get through the day.
Factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle
Not one year. Ten years.
Living a healthier lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. The most significant factor in getting from the body you have to the body you want is time.
If you can make good choices consistently over time, you can reach not only your ultimate fitness goal but also the sub-goals along the way. However, if you get frustrated by lack of quick change in your body or how big of a lifestyle change it is, you’ll be pushed off track won’t reach your goals.
Here are a couple of things that can help you with your intentional health journey.
When we want to go on vacation or buy a new car, most people make a plan, so why is it that we don’t have a growth and wellness plan?
Write down your goals and then break them down into manageable objectives. Give yourself a three, six, and twelve-month goal and write down three manageable objectives for each.
Build Good Habits
Building habits, I mean training habits, is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Without a systematic plan of training, the overall progress will stall and you will receive limited benefits. Set a strict schedule and stick to it.
Write everything down and check things off as you complete tasks. Give yourself rewards for staying on track, and be sure to celebrate your wins with others. Write down your progress in a journal so you can start to see how these habits build up over time.
At first, you will be tempted to fall into old habits, but if you keep up with it you will train yourself to do these tasks naturally.
I can’t stress this enough. Get yourself a sound support system. There is nothing stronger than a supportive community. This can be friends, family, or you can join tons of different groups in your city. Whatever you do, make sure you have people who care about your personal growth.
What you eat will have the most substantial impact on your overall health.
Sounds easy, right? It is not, especially when there is sugar in just about everything. It is tough to eat fresh vegetables and a clean diet. It probably means shopping and cooking your food. But It is undoubtedly the only way to know what is going into your body.
Find an eating plan that works for you and tweak it as you go. It is OK if you go off and eat something like a piece of cake once in a while. It is how you eat most consistently that will count.
It hurts me to see people spend a lot of time running on the treadmill, then get off and drink a coke, juice, or worse, one of those sports drinks that contain a lot of sugar.
Taking the time to make a meal plan and shop a couple of times a week will help prevent you from eating unhealthy foods. Eat clean by purchasing only whole foods and avoid gluten and dairy for the best results. Keeping junk foods out of your fridge and you away from the drive-through will significantly improve your health.
Exercise doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym five days a week. Some of the best activities can be fun and fulfilling.
Try joining a team or club that interests you. Any activity will do, such as karate, biking, softball, or whatever you enjoy. Group activities are an excellent place to start growing your support system while getting in some fitness. It also keeps you from sitting in front of a screen, which will boost your energy and your serotonin levels. On your off days, you can hit the gym or workout at home to get in some strength and resistance training to see the most significant benefits.
How To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easier than you think. Once you have created your plan, started building good habits, and have developed a support system, all that’s left is the same thing that got you started, intent.
At the risk of sounding redundant, I will repeat myself one more time; all growth starts and ends with intent. Be consistent with your intention, and your healthier lifestyle will follow.
As a registered functional medicine and naturopathic doctor in Kitchener Waterloo, my focus is on hormone imbalance and metabolic repair. Contact me today for personalized testing to identify your individual needs and create a sustainable approach to your health.
To book your initial consultation, call 519-745-1600 or join our next free workshop at http://ow.ly/qemV50wGATW