The new year offers an opportunity to think of all the changes we would like to do in the coming year. For many of us, living a healthier lifestyle will probably top the list of new year’s resolutions. By living a healthier lifestyle, you will struggle less with stress and anxiety, you will have more energy, you will visit the doctor less, and you might even live longer.
A Deeper Look at Making Healthier Changes
Healthy changes don’t happen overnight, it takes time and dedication. Remember to be kind to yourself. If you fall off the diet-wagon or miss a couple of days of working out, get back on track without chastising yourself. You deserve a break now and then anyway and compassion towards ourselves is considered to be one of the important factors in our ability to do a change.
Creating a healthy life is a journey – it's a path you will travel that will change who you are (for the better). Here are the steps to take to transform your life into a healthier one.
Define Your Ultimate Goal
Before you can start your journey to a healthier lifestyle, you need to know where you want that journey to lead - this will be your ultimate goal. Do you want to be more energetic? Do you want to look better? Do you want to be healthier? Maybe your goal is to relieve stress – you are on edge every day, and you feel like stress and anxiety are the reason for your weight gain, improper diet, and your vice of smoking cigarettes. Find the real source for your motivation
Set SMART Goals
Once you know what is the ultimate goal you would like to achieve, you can set your intermediate goals. These will help give you the drive needed to change your life successfully. We recommend using the SMART goal-setting methods credited to both Peter Drucker (1954) and G.T. Doran (1991) - in order to set effective goals. SMART goals are:
Specific - be as specific as possible. For example, if your ultimate goal is stress reduction and you decided to achieve it by working out, define exactly which type of workout are you interested in doing (for example, running and practicing Yoga).
Measurable - set measurable goals. For instance, if you decided to run and practice Yoga, define exactly how many times per week.
Achievable - make sure to set goals which fit your routine and schedule. You know yourself and your schedule the best. Maybe you heard that morning workout are the best in order to burn fat but if you are not a morning person or if your morning routine is messy, it might be better to set the goal as “working out 4 times a week after work”.
Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective towards which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both ambitious and realistic. You are the only one who can decide just how challenging your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
Time-bound - Set a timeline to achieve your goal and/or to measure your progress.
The final step in your journey towards a healthier life is to think positively. Everyone has negative thoughts, and it's likely you'll experience self-doubt at some point. When those negative thoughts (‘I can't do this’, ‘I'm not going to succeed’) sneak into your mind, use affirmations to kick them out.
An affirmation is a positive statement, such as “I am good enough, and I will succeed.” It is always in the present tense, always starts with “I am…” and it's always positive - “I am beautiful, and my radiance is seen by those around me.”
Not only will affirmations help, but reading positive quotes can boost your mood and help melt away stress and anxiety. Mainly, you need to focus on the change you want to make in your life and visualize your life as if you've already attained your goals. That is how you'll journey into a healthier you!