Accommodating a healthier lifestyle is easier said than done; according to an Inc. feature on creating new habits, approximately 80% of people who set New Year’s resolutions drop them by the second week of February. This is mostly due to the lack of more specific, measurable goals, coupled with discouraging environmental factors. Sometimes it’s just difficult to maintain consistency and to find the constant drive to live a healthy life amidst a busy schedule. To help you develop a plan to overcome your wellness slump, here are our best tips for building and maintaining healthier habits:
Specify your goals
Without specific goals, you’re essentially setting yourself up for trouble. Determine your goals and set a specific timeline, too. A professor at Wharton School Of Business writes that you are more likely to succeed by initiating fresh goals at the beginning of a new year, week, or even just a new day; this is also called the “fresh start effect.” If your goal is to lose weight, determine by how much and how quickly through increments. Maybe you want to be more hydrated — start by deciding on how many glasses of water per day, or even per hour or per section of the day.
Track your progress
While short-term goals matter, it’s also wise to start envisioning long-term goals. One helpful tip is to set benchmarks for yourself and assess whether you’re succeeding at these set goals. If your target is to eat healthier, for instance, assessing your progress could be in the form of a meal tracker or a food journal. You can track weight gain or loss, and tick off the goals you’ve reached. Moreover, if you’re transitioning into a different choice of diet like keto or vegan, or if you’re planning to eat healthier because of conditions like diabetes or heart disease, you can use this to easily plan and keep track of your meals.
It’s been proven that people work harder when they feel accountable and have mentors that oversee their progress. Fortunately, you can find that most professional healthcare workers nowadays are honing themselves to become health educators and mentors. Moreover, they’re now trained at a higher education level to provide healthy exercise habits based on your specific needs. According to Maryville University’s general healthcare programs those who study this particular degree will be able to guide on their clients on exercise, nutrition, and rehabilitation programs. These professionals can be your mentors and allies when it comes to your own, individual health journey. So whether it’s a coach, health educator, dietician, or a friend, having that necessary push from others can increase your motivation. Make sure to check-in and share your progress with them, may it be achieved benchmarks or any health aspects you’re still working on.
Go the extra mile
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If you’re committed to running ten minutes per day, there might be instances when you feel strong enough to push it to fifteen. You’d be surprised at how your body can constantly improve its strength and tolerance, and the only way to find out is to test it yourself — just make sure you know your limits. Before you sign up for a 5K marathon, try walking an extra five to 10 minutes a few times a day. Striking a good balance between staying consistent and being adventurous is key.
Remember to enjoy the journey
Building healthy habits and taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be a chore. In our feature on how to ‘Add Some Fun to Your Workout’, we point out that the lack of fun can lead people to dread their sessions, and ultimately start skipping on them. Perhaps working out with a friend will help you stay on track. Or maybe you prefer the opposite — if attending a class with other people only makes you feel anxious and uncomfortable, you can opt to take on a home-based fitness plan. You can also try activities that are could be more fun for you, such as dance aerobics or playing a sport.
We hope you were able to pick up some valuable lessons that will help set you out on your fitness journey.
Article written by Rachael Jacobs
Exclusively for ZPhysique