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How To Maintain Healthy Habits
WELLNESS

How To Maintain Healthy Habits

We’ve all been there, we make grand plans to improve our health or fitness levels and unfortunately, somewhere along the line, we get a little off track. We may buy new exercise equipment, expensive hi-tech watches or the latest kitchen gadget all with the intention of somehow bettering ourselves, only to leave it all collecting dust two weeks later.

So why is it so hard to keep up our healthy habits, even when we start with so much enthusiasm and the best of intentions? Sometimes our reasons for making changes can be based on feelings of guilt or fear, rather than coming from a positive place. Sometimes we may feel that we ‘should’ do something rather than making changes which are genuinely self-motivated. Sometimes we may just take on too many changes at once, which can quickly overwhelm us.

Start with small changes

Not every change we make for the better needs to be monumental, nor does everything need to be changed at once. Want to start eating more healthily? Perhaps start with small changes such as preparing a healthy lunch for work, rather than taking the easy option of buying unhealthy foods from the food truck or café down the road. Even small changes such as skipping dessert or replacing soft drinks with water can make a huge difference and are much more manageable than a sudden, complete diet overhaul. Focusing on achieving small goals can often help keep us on track to get to our long term goals.

Set clear goals and practical ways to achieve them

Be specific about your goals. Wanting to eat better or get more exercise is great, but try to create well defined, achievable goals and work out what steps you need to take in order to achieve them.

Want to lose weight or tone up? Why not join a gym and use the on-site personal trainer to help plan a personalised workout routine, based on your fitness goals? Don’t just turn up, jump on a machine and expect results, plan for your success.

Something has come up and you can’t get to the gym? Have a plan for when life gets in the way, because it will. A plan B gives you options, rather than excuses and keeps you headed in the right direction to achieving your goals.

Have realistic expectations and be prepared to forgive yourself

We all tend to start out full of enthusiasm and with big plans, but life can often get in the way. Some days we may not be feeling well, work or family commitments may need to take priority at times and we need to be ok with this. We can’t control everything that happens around us but that doesn’t mean we must go down a shame-spiral just because we missed a few sessions at the gym or had a piece of birthday cake. We can control how we deal with disruptions to our plans by simply getting back on track when we can. Choose not to let distractions derail your progress.

Hang in there!

When it comes to making long term life changes, it’s important to maintain momentum in the short term. Small, positive changes can support us along the way, helping to gradually build long-lasting lifestyle habits. Remember, try not to get overwhelmed by how far away your goals might seem. Plan for success by having a plan B for when life throws you a curveball, but most importantly, keep moving forward.
Felicity Downes-Casipit
Author

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