Healthy Lifestyle Changes - Tips For Making Changes
In Your Life
so your doctor just told you to do something you know should have
been doing all along; he told you that you need to exercise. Your
blood pressure is too high, blood sugar levels are out of control,
and you're over thirty pounds overweight. Also, you are getting
more tired than usual and punishing yourself because you can't fit
into any clothes like you know you should. So what do you do? More
than likely you join the nearest gym; maybe you complete a fitness
test and have an exercise program created by an exercise physiologist
for you to follow. You're excited because you have a plan and you
decide that you are going to visit the gym 3-4 days per week. Your
intentions are great, but unfortunately you don't set foot in the
gym for another 3 months or maybe never again. What happened? You
weren't psychologically prepared. In order to make a successful
lifestyle change such as beginning an exercise program, you must
consider how prepared you are mentally. In order to create new habits,
you must be psychologically ready. If your brain accepts change,
then the change will occur.
Consider the following when assessing your readiness to make
positive lifestyle changes:
- Are you willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to
- What or who is motivating you to make lifestyle changes?
- Are you making the decision to change for yourself or someone
- Will you be committed during the hard times when things aren't
going your way?
- Is exercise a top priority?
- Do you have anyone in your life that supports your lifestyle
- Do you feel that you are in control of your life right now?
These questions help you to assess whether it is the right time
for you to begin an exercise program or not. It is important that
you make your attempt count because the more you fail, the harder
it becomes for you to try again and adhere to your changes.
It is so easy to make excuses as to why you don't continue with
your lifestyle changes. Usually, time and discipline are major obstacles.
However, obstacles are just blocks in the path that you can get
around if you have a plan of action. How do you make more time?
Or, you may wonder how you can teach yourself to stick with an exercise
program for longer than two months. First of all, you must set realistic,
measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based goals. You have
to know what you are working toward in your exercise program. Whatever
goals you create, write them down and make a contract between someone
that will hold you accountable for yourself. Post them somewhere
you can clearly see them daily. As you achieve a goal, reward yourself
and create new ones.
you must make exercise a priority. Write down exercise times in
your schedule and then do it. Moreover, you must not procrastinate
with other activities that you do throughout the day. Block off
proper amounts of time for tasks and complete them within the planned
amount of time. If you have a big project to complete, ask for help
or chop up the activity over several days until it is completed.
Do you like to spend after-work time with the family? If so, then
play fitness games with them like dodge ball, freeze tag, and relay
races which are perfect for a family to do together.
Another part of creating a plan is to create coping strategies
for possible obstacles. Write down the barrier, then create a primary
and secondary coping strategy for those obstacles. Obstacles or
barriers are anything that can impede your lifestyle change journey.
You must accept that obstacles are a part of life, but you don't
have to succumb to them. Your chance of being successful increases
when you develop plans to adhere to an exercise program. These obstacles
may be physical, emotional, or mental. Just remember, no obstacle
is so big that you cannot conquer it.
What if you still haven't committed to making lifestyle changes?
You should create a decisional balance sheet where you can weigh
the benefits and risks of beginning an exercise program. For instance,
an advantage might be that you can better control your sugar levels;
and a disadvantage might be that the cost of a gym membership is
too high. If the cons outweigh the benefits, you should figure out
ways to cope with the cons. For instance, if a gym membership is
too expensive, consider buying effective exercise tapes that you
can follow or finding a community exercise recreation center that
allows you to join for free. For every problem, there is a solution.
As you are taking the steps toward adopting new behaviors, make
sure that you make gradual changes. If you try to do too much at
one time then you will become overwhelmed and the risk of dropout
increases. Start off by exercising three days a week; cutting out
one unhealthy food group or beverage from your caloric intake; or
increasing play time with your children or grandchildren. These
changes are only some of the ways you can increase physical activity
in your daily life. Creating new habits is a process, so be patient
and you will be successful.
Dropping bad habits to create new ones can be a challenging task.
It is important that you mentally prepare yourself to make these
changes or you will fail at making the necessary lifestyle changes.
Moreover, lack of planning adds to disappointment if you don't take
the time to do so. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So, reach
for success today by creating plans to live a healthier life!