It is never easy to make positive changes in your life. At times, it can be difficult and even discouraging to break old, unhealthy habits and form new, healthy ones—but it’s not impossible.
A healthy, happy lifestyle is one of the cornerstones of self-improvement. The question is, “How can you change your lifestyle to become healthier?”
In this blog, we’ll look at some valuable tips for living a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Where Should You Begin?
It’s great that you want to make healthier choices in life, but where should you actually start? Keep the following suggestions in mind:
- First and foremost, identify the unhealthy habits in your life that you wish to change. Then, for each habit, think about why you want to change it. Perhaps it is for your own mental health, or maybe your goal is spending quality time with your grandchildren.
- Don’t point fingers or blame your inability to break bad habits on time constraints. Make a promise to yourself and hold yourself accountable to that promise—just as you would hold a loved one accountable if they did the same.
- Avoid anything that triggers your bad habits. If scrolling through your social media feeds makes you feel bad about yourself, delete your account. If alcohol makes you want to smoke a cigarette, take a break from drinking. You’re probably already aware of the negative triggers in your life—all you need to do now is figure out how to distance yourself from them.
- Believe in your ability to change. If you can convince yourself that it’s possible, half the battle is already won.
- Changing is hard, and there may be days when you struggle. Realize that it will take some time to reach your destination and that you may experience a few failures along the way. Instead of allowing any setbacks to get the better of you, just keep working hard.
- Set your goals, but remember to start off small.
What Is the Importance of Goal Setting?
Setting a few goals is one of the most effective ways of building a framework for creating your new healthier and happier lifestyle. The goals give you something to focus on and keep you motivated to work very hard; they also allow you to track your performance, revealing just how far you’ve come.
Be honest with yourself when setting goals. Whether you want to drop five pounds or learn a new language, it won’t happen overnight—maybe not even for a few months. Failure to hit unrealistic targets could be demoralizing and cause you to give up big time.
To avoid overloading yourself, take baby steps, focusing on one goal at a time. For example, if you want to get your weight down, set small objectives for yourself. Work out at least 3-4 times a week, for example, and add more greens to your plate.
Now, let’s get to the meat of the matter…
1. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Many people associate a healthy life with diet and exercise while completely ignoring mental health—one of the most crucial components of a healthy, happy life.
So, how do you keep your mental health in check?
You might find it a bit tricky to manage your emotions while having to deal with the stresses of everyday life. Keeping your mental health in check necessitates the prioritization of your personal needs. We can’t care for others if we do not care for our own minds and bodies, right?
Start with your mental health if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. Take some time out of your day to unwind and do things that make you happy, treat yourself for something you did right, and spend more time with good people who value your company.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your mental wellbeing, including any of the following exercises.
- Sit down and write something for which you are thankful every day.
- Head outside for a walk, either by yourself or with someone you care about.
- Try out a new healthy, delicious recipe and share it with a friend.
- Limit your screen time.
- Do something out of the ordinary to shake up your daily routine.
- Try mindfulness meditation.
- Participate in a local charity’s volunteer program.
2. Exercise More
Starting a workout routine can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. Be that as it may, it might be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Daily workouts are beneficial not only to your physical health, but also to your mental wellbeing.
You should set goals and create a fitness schedule to which you can realistically stick. Start with something as simple as walking 30-45 minutes every day, progressively adding different workouts to your routine over time.
Keep the following things in mind before you get started:
- Check your health. Consult a doctor before beginning a workout routine if you’re not used to being physically active or are over 45.
- Set realistic goals. Start with simple and attainable goals, such as walking 10-15 miles each week, gradually adding more goals to your workout plan.
- Make it a habit. A workout routine is only a “routine” if you can stick to it over time. Try to set aside time each week to break some sweat, focusing on holding yourself accountable.
3. Eat Healthy
Eating right is one of the most challenging parts of adopting a healthy lifestyle. After all, what is life without your favorite apple pie or pizza bursting with cheese?
Being mindful of what you put into your body is about more than just dropping some weight; eating healthy also makes you more positive, energetic, and productive.
Here are a few tips you should know for healthy eating:
- Be realistic. Changing your eating habits is hard, so take it slowly. Set goals that are both realistic and attainable. If you usually eat out once a day, consider only doing so every other day for a few weeks before you stop eating out altogether.
- Know that you can still enjoy food. Healthy eating entails cleaning up your diet while still allowing yourself to savor the food you eat.
- Follow a healthy eating plan. Those who map out a plan are more likely to succeed in switching their diet with a healthier one.
- Reward yourself. After reaching micro-milestones, treat yourself to something you’ve been craving, such as that pie or pizza.
- If you fail, don’t punish yourself. There will be setbacks, but just brush them off and get back on the rails. Never let a failure of the past dictate your future.
- Plan your meals. Planning meals ahead of time, creating a grocery list, and sticking to a healthy eating plan results in reduced waste.
- Cook at home and pack your lunch. Home cooking is always less expensive than eating out. Meal prep everything for the week in one day or make one meal at a time, eating all the leftovers before making another meal—either way, you’ll save $$$.
- Eat produce that is in season. Buy in-season local produce and freeze what you don’t use.
- Keep a food diary. Keeping a food diary might help you stay on track by logging what you eat and the amount of fat or calories in each meal. MyFitnessPal is the most popular diet and nutrition tracking app, and it is completely free to use.
Foods to avoid or reduce in your diet:
- Processed foods
- Foods that contain trans fat (donuts, cakes, fried salty snacks etc.)
- Fast food
- Soda and carbonated drinks
- Packaged ready-to-eat food items
- Sugary drinks
Foods to add instead:
- Whole foods (foods that are unprocessed, unrefined and free from additives)
- Lots of vegetables and fruits
- Healthy fats
- Lean protein
4. Get Enough Sleep
It’s widely accepted that sleep is critical to physical and mental wellbeing. Despite this importance, however, a disturbing percentage of people are consistently deprived of decent sleep and are, as a result, noticeably drowsy during the day.
If you have trouble falling asleep easily or at all, here are a few suggestions for developing habits that will help you sleep better.
- Go to bed and get up at the same hours each day.
- Never go to bed hungry or stuffed.
- Create a sleeping-friendly bedroom—cool, quiet, and dark.
- Limit daytime naps to a 30-minute maximum and avoid taking them late in the day.
- Stress management may be effective. Start with the fundamentals, such as getting organized, establishing priorities, and delegating tasks.
We hope this blog has provided you with the information you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the pursuit of becoming your best self.