There’s no better feeling than starting the new year with a fresh set of healthy intentions! But don’t make your New Year resolutions just another promise to yoursellf that gets abandoned by March. Each and every year, millions of people start out with all the best intentions, and a few months later, they’re back to their old unhealthy habits. We’ve all been there and it’s very easy to get swept away with the stress of life that our healthy intentions tend to slip away, but this doesn’t have to happen. It’s possible to keep your healthy habits all year round, and we’ve got some tips to help you do this.
Get your mindset right
Before you do anything, you need to accept that healthy eating isn’t just a New Year resolution; it’s a lifestyle change. Stay away from viewing your healthy habits as a diet and rather think about your habits as your new way of life.
Choose changes that work with your lifestyle
Having healthy eating habits is important, but it’s important to choose a realistic habit that works with your lifestyle. If you often enjoy eating dinner out with friends, for example, it’s probably not a good idea to commit intermittent fasting at night. If you enjoy rice or a slice of toast in the mornings, rather try limiting your carb intake than cutting them out altogether. Ask yourself, “Can I see myself living like this forever?” If the answer is no, then choose something more maintable.
Identify your ‘why’
If you don’t understand the reasons behind your health and fitness goals, then you’re less likely to stick with them over the long-term. Think deeply about why you want to make these changes until you find something that’s really important to you that will help you stay disciplined no matter what. Just wanting to lose weight, for example, isn’t a strong why that will last. Ask yourself why you want to lose weight – to feel more confident in the workplace? To live a longer life so that you can spend more time with your children and grandchildren?
Understand that motivation ebbs and flows
There’s nothing like the feeling of motivation to achieve your health and fitness goals at the start of a new year! While it’s important to use this motivation to get you going, accept that motivation ebbs and flows and know that it’s impossible to maintain the initial motivation. You will not be motivated every single day, and that’s okay! Just because you’re not motivated, however, doesn’t mean your healthy lifestyle goes out the window. It’s on these days that you need to learn to be disciplined. While motivation gets you started, discipline is what ultimately makes your healthy choices a lifestyle.
Eat healthy foods you love
Healthy eating doesn’t mean eating a salad at every meal or making sure you’re getting in every kind of vegetable possible. You don’t have to eat salads and like all vegetables to be healthy! It’s important to find healthy foods that excite you and that you enjoy. There are countless options out there that can be delicious, and it’s your resonsibility to go out and find them. If you don’t like tomatoes or avocados, for example, don’t force yourself to eat them, because if you eat foods you don’t like, you’re less likely to maintain your eating habits. If you eat foods you love, on the other hand, you’re more likely to continue to eat them.
Know that consistency doesn’t mean perfection
To live a healthy lifestyle, you have to be consistent. But consistency doesn’t mean making perfect choices one hundred percent of the time. Consistency means making great choices most of the time! You won’t go the rest of your life without eating chocolate or a pizza, will you? Of course not! Accept that you won’t be perfect all the time, but know that you can be perfect ninety percent of the time. That’s what’s going to make your healthy lifestyle stick. Accepting imperfection and knowing that consistency and perfection are not the same thing is key to a maintanable healthy life!
Following healthy eating habits and staying disciplined year-round can help you make healthier choices, leading to improved health, better energy levels, disease prevention, achieving your weight goals and a more positive outlook on life. If this is what you want, there are ways to make your habits stick and you don’t have to fall off the bandwagon a few weeks into the year!
Written by: Jodi Bransby | Health Coach
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