With the new year just starting and resolutions still fresh, now is one of the most popular times to start trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
Although many people do start out changing their behaviors and habits, they don’t always follow through. Here’s an example from a study on New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re reading this post though, I’m sure you want to make long-lasting changes. We take pride in our ability to stick to our healthy and frugal lifestyle. All you cute canny readers want to beat the odds and be healthier than average Joe too right?
It’s not easy to change your lifestyle, especially if it involves major aspects like eating, exercising, and changing your mindset. There’s a lot of articles out there on how to be healthier, but not all of the lifestyle changes they suggest are sustainable for the long term. It’s much easier and more likely to be lasting if you implement smaller changes. For instance, in our post on how to start working out, we suggest setting a routine for when you exercise, rather than going full throttle and spending as much time in the gym as possible. Making small, doable changes can ultimately help you live a healthy lifestyle for the long run.
Make Time for Self-Care
When you’re always on the go and working towards your goals, it can sometimes be hard to remember to take a break. The break is necessary for everyone, but self-care is different for each person. It doesn’t have to be the trendy self-care ideal with bath bombs and tea. Maybe you just like reading and want to spend a couple hours a week delving into a new book. If you’re super busy, a relaxing shower by yourself might be all you can fit in. Just don’t forget to take that little bit of time to focus on you. You have to take care of yourself to stay healthy.
Get Into an Exercise Routine
We are aware that not everyone wants to spend hours in the gym everyday. If you are, then keep it up! If not, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. There are so many more options besides weightlifting or cardio. Find something you like or add in your favorite exercise class to your calendar each week. Consistency and building habits are what will help you continue exercising in your new healthy lifestyle.
Plan for the Future
Part of living a healthy lifestyle continuously, means you’ll have to think of the future. If you’re only thinking short term, that can lead to greater stress later on. For example, if you want to start cooking all your meals and buying groceries at the health food store 20 miles from your house, but your hours at work are increasing in a month, that’s probably something to factor in while you’re calculating how much time you’ll have for cooking and shopping.
Financial stability is another thing that can really affect people’s health in general and their healthy lifestyle. I just opened a retirement account to ensure that I’ll have enough stability way later in life, so that I can continue the lifestyle we’ve chosen. We try to make decisions now that will help us have a happy and healthy lifestyle years down the road. Think about how you’re living right now and whether it’ll lead to you being healthy later.
Set Attainable Goals
Setting high goals for your health is great. Like I said in the last section, plan for the future. However, setting short term, easily attainable goals really helps you reach the seemingly unachievable goals. If you want to run a marathon, but haven’t ran since P.E. class in high school, set little goals like running a mile and so on. This gives you mile markers (pun unintended) to track your progress and something small to work for, so you don’t get discouraged as easily. If you just set large goals without laying out the steps to get there, it’s easy to procrastinate and get overwhelmed.
Keep Your Diet Balanced
Keep in mind we’re not nutritionists (you can read more in our disclaimer here). If you’re on Pinterest often, you’ll see all sorts of fad diets and recipes for them. Probably an unexpected statement coming from a lifestyle blogger, but don’t fall into fad diets. I had friends who would diet, completely change where they bought their groceries, change their meals, and then completely give up within just a few months. If they lost any weight during that time, they gained it back pretty quickly and were less healthy because they were binge eating all the foods they deprived themselves of during that time.
I can’t remember which psychology class I took that went over fad dieting, but basically if you diet and cut out everything unhealthy, you’ll end up in a cycle of dieting, giving in and eating something “bad” for you, feeling guilty, dieting again, and so on. Staying balanced is more sustainable. If you eat 80% healthy and 20% unhealthy for years, you’re doing much better than roller coaster dieting for months before going back to your old routine.
Keep Your Life Balanced
I don’t mean do everything equally. Everyone’s balance is going to be different, so I can’t really help you with specifics here, but basically if you feel a part of your life you care about is going under due to another aspect, reevaluate and ask yourself “hey, is thing A worth losing thing B over?” If not, make the shift to rebalance. Staying balanced can also help you avoid burn out.
A healthy lifestyle means more than just physical health. It’s more holistic than just one area of your life. Changing your lifestyle can be difficult and short-lived if done incorrectly. While there isn’t one exact way to live a healthy lifestyle, implementing small changes and greater balance will help make your chosen healthy lifestyle more sustainable.