Living a healthy lifestyle is something most of us strive for, but while good intentions can go a long way towards this, the reality is that it’s often much more difficult to achieve. While we might aim to eat a healthy, home-cooked meal every night and work out five times a week, our fast-paced lifestyles often see us with little time left to take care of ourselves.
So, if you’ve often found yourself setting goals that you’ve struggled to actually meet, and felt frustrated as a result, then rest assured that you’re not alone. The good news, though, is that with a renewed approach, it is possible to get to where you want to be in terms of your health and wellness.
What is it that makes achieving a healthy lifestyle so challenging for many to accomplish? Often, it’s because we overcomplicate what should, in reality, be a relatively simple process. All it really comes down to is handling responsibilities with discipline, yet so many people have trouble finding balance. If you happen to be one of them, there’s no reason to be discouraged – here’s how you can achieve a healthy lifestyle without stress.
Take things one step at a time
Want to know the biggest reason people fail when setting out towards their goals? Typically, it’s trying to do too much at once. For many, this requires a significant change in lifestyle, and overwhelming yourself by attempting to impose a whole list of new habits is a sure-fire way to ensure you’ll be throwing in the towel before the first week is out.
It’s easy to feel intimidated when you look at the big picture, so it’s best to take things one step at a time. Go for smaller goals, such as tackling a beginner’s workout routine for a week or avoiding sugary snacks for the next two days – and allow yourself to tick them off or become comfortable with each new habit before attempting to introduce a new one. By taking things slowly, the changes will feel more manageable, and each small achievement will build your confidence so that you’ll eventually feel ready to do more.
Don’t underestimate the power of positive reinforcement
The idea of positive reinforcement is to encourage you to do your best by offering incentives in the form of rewards. By promising yourself a day at the spa or a new pair of diamond earrings for every small goal you achieve, you’ll generate the kind of momentum that will make you want to keep going, and dangling these carrots in front of yourself periodically will ensure that you stay disciplined even when motivation is low.
It’s up to you to decide on what the rewards are going to be, but be sensible. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, then don’t promise yourself a complete blow out at your favourite restaurant every week, as this can quickly negate the calorie deficit you’ve tried hard to establish and keep you feeling stuck. Instead, choose something small, like a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine – or better yet, something that isn’t related to food and drink at all.
If you struggle to relax or often find yourself dealing with anxiety, for example, then you might consider treating yourself to a massage or some cannabidiol products rather than self-medicating with a family size pizza. Quality products from reputable online shops like Doze CBD can help to soothe the mind and keep you feeling calmer and more able to manage the demands that life throws at you, including your new routine – while a spa treatment can work wonders at easing aching muscles and a stressed-out mind after spending all week working and at the gym.
Consistency is key
When it comes to achieving your goals, it all comes down to consistency. It really is key, and is one of the major reasons setting smaller and more manageable goals is important. The little things add up and can make a big difference over time, so don’t underestimate them – going slow and steady is a far more effective way to win the race than going all in for a few days only to give up before you’ve started to see any progress.
Rather than attempting to go to the gym seven days a week and only managing it once before dropping down to one workout a week, set out for three days a week, and stick to it. And be disciplined with tracking your calories, meditating and doing your mindfulness exercises. It’s important to realise that you won’t always feel motivated, and that that’s ok – but fully committing to your goals will mean that you continue to do what you’ve said you’ll do regardless, and ultimately, reap the rewards.
The bottom line
While trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, most people make it harder for themselves than it has to be. While it’s easy to get caught up in the physical habits required to get you from A to B, it’s important to start with your mindset first – because if you can get that right, you can achieve anything, and even the most discouraged individual can maintain balance with the right approach.