Do you find it challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Does your motivation to exercise on a daily basis wane in under a week? Do you wish you could improve your mental health, but struggle to find ways that work?
If you answered each of these questions with a resounding YES, you have come to the right place.
First, you must understand that there are no quick fixes or overnight miracles when it comes to improving your overall health and well-being. There are some things, however, that you can do to bring yourself closer to your goal of being healthier.
In this blog, we will share seven tried-and-true steps for prioritizing your physical and mental health.
Step 1: Focus on One Thing at a Time
Most people fail because they attempt to make multiple simultaneous changes in their lives. For example, they may make efforts to cut sugar from their diets, meditate in the morning, and go for a stroll every evening—all at the same time. By trying to do everything at once, they often end up doing nothing at all.
Take it slowly if you want to make positive changes in your life. Remember the old adage: slow and steady wins the race.
You also must understand that you will not be able to break a habit you’ve had since childhood in a single day, nor can you form a new habit in a single day.
If you want to succeed, focus on one thing at a time and stick with it for a while before attempting to incorporate another habitual change into your daily life. Learn to prioritize if you want to see differences in every aspect of your life. Begin by accomplishing the most important tasks first, then set realistic and achievable goals moving forward. This is the only way to achieve success.
Step 2: Don’t Be Concerned with Results
We should always have an actual goal in sight when we strive to make changes in our lives. For example, if you have decided to work out, you’re probably aiming for a particular body type. If your only goal in making changes is to achieve a particular goal, you’ll likely give up once you reach the intended result. The problem is that stopping will probably undo the entire process, reverting you to your original state.
Instead of focusing solely on the outcome, work on reinforcing positive habits and behaviors. This way, even after you have accomplished your goals, you can maintain your healthy habits, which will benefit you in the long run, making you a happier and healthier person for life. Furthermore, once you have established healthy habits, successful outcomes will follow.
If you are attempting to lose a few pounds, don’t fixate on a specific number on the scale. Instead, place greater effort into building positive habits, such as eating a healthy diet and hitting the gym regularly. These habits will change your life and push you to improve yourself beyond simply achieving your weight goals.
Step 3: Create a Healthy Environment
If you want to prioritize your health, you must change your environment.
For example, when you are regularly in close proximity to bags of chips and bottles of Coke, it can seem impossible to achieve your weight loss goals. If you feel like dropping five pounds would make you a healthier person, you should take a look at your kitchen and pantry. Get rid of any unhealthy foods and re-stock your pantry with high-protein, nutritious foods so that, anytime you get hungry, you will only have healthy food options.
The catch is that you must create a specific environment that will bring you closer to your goal, whatever that may be. For example, if you’re working on improving your mental health, stay away from negative people as much as you can. Instead, surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you. This is one of the simplest things you can do to create a healthy environment in which you can develop your mental health.
Step 4: Learn the Importance of Simple Changes
Understand that taking small steps can add up to make a big difference in your life. This, however, works both ways—you will receive positive results if you take small positive steps, whereas, if your small steps are negative, they will lead you away from your desired destination.
Continuing with our weight loss example, if you parked your car a bit further away from your house, you would walk a more whenever you head out. Likewise, if you took the stairs at work instead of the elevator, you would burn more calories. All of these small changes will add up to a healthy you! Unfortunately, the opposite is also true; if you eat a slice of pizza every day only because “it’s only one slice!” you’ll likely end up pushing your goals away.
Therefore, embrace the idea that small changes can have a significant impact on whether or not you achieve your goals. This will encourage you to make those tiny improvements instead of undervaluing and disregarding them.
Step 5: Get Back on Track—Even if You Fail
Let’s be honest here—failure is inevitable. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself munching on french fries and potato chips or chugging a bottle of soda no matter how hard you try to stick to your diet! Do not worry. Nearly every self-improvement journey is fraught with feelings of guilt, failure, and burnout.
So, how does one avoid these perpetual mistakes? Well, first you must understand that mistakes are what make us human; there is no avoiding them. Besides, you would never be able to make lemonade out of the lemons life throws at you if you don’t even want lemons in the first place. So, then, the best course of action is to forgive yourself for making those mistakes and to just get back on the rails.
To see any real results, you must rise back up after every setback and get back to doing what you were supposed to do—whether it is sticking to the workout plan or being grateful for what you have. You cannot give up on your goals just because you didn’t achieve them the first time. In addition, when you try to get back on course, do not overcompensate for your mistakes. Make minor adjustments at any given time, and the effects will trickle in gradually.
Step 6: Set Reminders to Help You Stay on Track
If you have introduced a new habit to your life, you might not remember it every day. You would probably need to be reminded sometimes because it is “new.” One way to ensure that your lifestyle change is not a one-time effort, abandoned once your motivation wanes, set daily reminders. For example, if you’re trying to stay more hydrated, install a water reminder app on your phone. This way, you would be reminded regularly, ensuring you get your recommended daily water intake.
You would have to make sure you are reminded daily, since that’s the only way to stay consistent. Make sure not to hit the snooze button or fall back asleep when your alarm goes off. When you get into the habit of getting up when your alarm goes off, you will find it easier to incorporate those new changes into your daily routine!
Step 7: Repeat
If you’ve followed all of the steps outlined above, you will have successfully made a small but meaningful difference in your life. Once you have turned that change into a habit, you’ll no longer dread doing on a regular basis. That’s when you’re ready to move on to the next change, taking another small step that will drastically improve your life and make you healthier.
The process is the same, regardless of the habit you want to adopt. It is a slow yet effective method for achieving your goals and making long-term changes to your life.
This life-changing seven-step process will surely make you a healthier and happier person. The only catch is that you must follow the steps religiously and with determination. To avoid leaving behind all these changes like your long-forgotten New Year’s resolutions, you must remain steadfast and committed.
What should you do now? Start by imagining a healthier version of yourself, then draw up a list of the changes you’ll need to make to your current self to become that new you. Prioritize, take the first small (but significant) step, and keep fulfilling your goals!