We all want to make positive changes in our lives, right? Especially changes that will improve our health but in my 35+ years of experience in fitness and nutrition, making changes, especially health related ones can be challenging. Sticking with them and making those changes last can be even more difficult. Life happens to us all and often times, it can lead us to slide back into old habits. However, I believe being physically and spiritually strong is a priority worth fighting for and with these 7 steps, you can make healthy changes that will last if you will be committed to applying them in your everyday life.
- Identify Your Why. The first step in making a lasting health changes is to identify your why. Why do you want to achieve your goals? How will your life change and improve for the better with these changes? How will the lives of those around you improve? Want to hear more about the importance of your motives and how to define your why? Click HERE.
- Make a Plan. If you don't have a plan you can't expect to get very far. Once you have identified your why, you need to make a plan to achieve them. This plan should be specific and should include actionable steps that you can take every day to achieve your goals. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, your plan would include an actionable steps like scheduling your workouts or following a fitness calendar with workout suggestions, meal plans and recipes.
- Start Small. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to make a health changes is trying to do too much too soon. This can be overwhelming and lead to burnout. Instead, start small and build up over time. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, start by making small changes to your diet, such as adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals and cutting back on sugar.
- Stay Accountable. Staying accountable is essential to making a health change that lasts. This can mean tracking your progress, sharing your goals with a friend or family member, or joining a support group. When you know that others are counting on you, it can help you stay motivated and on track.
- Be Patient. Making a lasting health changes takes time, and it's important to be patient with yourself. Patience is one of the Fruit of the Spirits and an important part of the journey to making lasting changes. You're not going to see results overnight so don't set yourself up for failure by stepping on the scale every morning and starting your day frustrated that you aren't seeing the progress you want to see. There will be setbacks along the way and you will have good days and bad days but don't beat yourself up. Stay committed and stick with it, you will experience positive changes not only physically but mentally and spiritually. Living a healthy lifestyle goes so much deeper than how we look. Are you more joyful, are you sleeping better, do you have more energy, less brain fog? Measure your progress as a whole, not by a number on a scale.
- Celebrate Your Success. Finally, it's important to celebrate your successes along the way. Whenever you reach a milestone or achieve a goal, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your progress (but please, do not use bad food as a reward.) Celebrating your achievements will help you stay motivated, remind you of your why and make it easier to stay on track.
- Pray for Guidance. If we want to make changes in our life that will truly last, we have to understand we can't do it alone. We need God's help. Pray for guidance, ask God to show you what changes you need to make in your life and ask Him to give you the strength and wisdom to make those changes. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." When you trust in God and rely on His strength, you can do this. You can make lasting changes that will last in all areas of your life!
In conclusion, making a health change that lasts takes effort and commitment, but it's so worth it. One of the best pieces of advice I can leave you with is to adopt a "Get To v. Have To" mindset. By putting all of these steps together to identify your why, make a plan, start small, staying accountable, being patient, celebrating your achievements and trusting God to guide you, you can make lasting changes to your lifestyle and improve your overall health and well-being.