Better Health Tips For A New Year And New You
If there’s anything 2020 taught us is the need to be more at peace with ourselves, take better care of our health, and take it one day at a time.
Changing our behavior is easy to begin with and hard to continue.
In fact, most resolutions and behavior changes fail or drop off after a month. Gym memberships are proof of that statistic. Their business model is designed to get as many people to commit for a year of subscription to their gym services, knowing that over 50% of members won’t ever use their subscription.
The main reason we fail to make any behavioral changes permanent is due to three main factors.
Our goals are too broad and general, we lack the external motivation that can keep us accountable, and we need to understand that lasting behavior change is first accomplished by a shift in thinking.
So to make lasting change, start with how you think about your goals, get someone to hold you accountable to your goals, and make little incremental progress in achieving the larger objective.
Think about a runner wanting to prepare for a marathon. In most cases, thinking about the distance of the run is too difficult. It’s better to break the run into several markers to run to and focus on each step to get there.
Don’t be afraid to have a more experienced running partner or coach teach you how to prepare, and spend some time really delving into why you want to prepare for that marathon.
Make Those Changes Permanent
Now that we understand how to make lasting changes to our behavior, setting out to make our goals a reality is the next step.
Practice Mindfulness: To change our behavior, it’s essential to change how we think about ourselves and the action we’d like to see changed. One of the best ways to achieve a change in our perception is the practice of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and aware of the moment without judgment or anxiety. It’s a calm state of mind, usually exercised during mediation. Studies have shown plenty of benefits associated with practicing mindfulness, from being more precise in thinking, less stress and anxiety, alleviating depression, and elevating mood.
Exercise: Get more exercise. For improved health benefits, it’s that simple of a concept. Improve your overall health and wellbeing by becoming more active. The key is to start an exercise program right for your age, health, and general condition.
The simplest way to begin an exercise program is the old Nike slogan, “just do it.” Get moving every day, and low impact walking is an easy way to start or take the dog for a longer than usual walk. The goal is to move just a little bit more than what you’ve been doing.
It’s best to start slow and build over time, and if you’re uncertain how to begin, speak with a professional.
Eating Better: Much like the increase in gym memberships at the end and the start of a year, people tend to overindulge during the holidays and spend the next month or so going the opposite extreme with their food and meal selections. The key is to find a balance between the two extremes. This is a crucially important point for people who need to manage their health, such as losing weight due to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or other health issues.
Diet And Nutrition: If you’re focused on improving your health and making substantial changes to your behavior, another critical area of focus is on your diet and nutrition. It’s the old adage, “garbage in, garbage out.” Eating clean unprocessed foods, taking multivitamins, and increasing your mineral intake with magnesium supplements and others to bolster your health is a great start.
Whether it’s the start of a new year that has you motivated, or it’s just that time to make a change, setting out to create lasting change to your behavior can be tricky.
If you want to make real, lasting changes to your behavior, change your way of thinking first. What is it that you want to change, and why is that change necessary?
Knowing the reasons you have for why you desire to change your behaviors will assist you on how to implement your overall plan.
The next step is to focus on taking your overall goal, divide it up into smaller, more accomplishable tasks. Nobody can just wake up and run a marathon. There are steps to be taken first.
Finally, find a partner or coach that you trust, and that is willing to push you when your motivation is lacking. That accountability buddy will keep you going long after your motivation has ebbed.