It is that time of year again where making new years resolutions and trying to stick with them is on everyone’s mind. Many, many people focus on improving their health, improving their fitness, and losing weight in the new year. Unfortunately, according to statistics about 80% of us abandon our resolutions by March.
If getting healthy in the new year is your goal there are some ways you can set yourself up for success. How can you adopt basic healthy lifestyle changes that you can stick with? Follow the tips and tricks listed here.
Why Do We Fail at Keeping Our Resolutions?
The practice of making new years resolutions dates back to ancient Babylonian times. The ancient Babylonians believed that making a New Year resolution was a sacred act. In other words, the tradition of making promises for the new year was more “making a deal” than resolving to change. This ancient civilization believed that if they made a deal with the gods at the beginning of the year (which was in March) then the Gods would look after their crops.
Ultimately our New Year resolutions are still pretty much a deal-making session, except we are making deals with ourselves to improve. For example, adopting a basic healthy lifestyle resolution comes with its rewards much like deals that ancient Babylonians made with the gods. You make a resolution to adopt a basic healthy lifestyle, and you are rewarded with looking great and feeling good.
Why do so many of us struggle with keeping our end of the deal up? There are a few reasons, we will use adopting a basic healthy lifestyle as an example of why we struggle to keep our resolutions. Let’s say that as part of our plan in developing our basic healthy lifestyle we have to change our habits. Breaking habits is never easy. It can also be that we put too much stress and pressure on ourselves to see results in very short periods of time.
Maybe we cannot keep our resolutions because we do not approach them with a slow and steady attitude. Maybe we try to make all the changes we can as soon as we can and it is just overwhelming. Let’s say you want to correct your smile. You visit the orthodontist and are told it will take two years to correct your smile with braces. You know at the end of the two years you will have a perfect smile.
You put the work into that smile and keep your Invisalign trays in as instructed. Your dentist advises not to rush the process so you don’t. You know that if you follow the slow and steady route you will reach your smile goals. The teeth move slowly into position. Maybe we need to approach our new year’s resolution with the same amount of patience. Slowly move into position to reach your goal.
Basic Healthy Lifestyle Changes and Starting from Scratch
Making changes is tough, but studies show that you can both break bad habits and adopt good ones in about a 21 day period if you stick with the behavior modifications that you need to stick with. For example, let’s say you do not exercise. Studies have shown that as little as 10 minutes of focused exercise a day can improve your health. Of course, 30 minutes of exercise is better, 60 minutes three times a week is even better, and so on and so forth, but you can start with 10 minutes.
Almost anyone can walk for 10 minutes. Make parking furthest away from the store a habit so you are forced to walk. Get to know your neighbors by walking around your neighborhood every evening. Set aside time to walk during breaks at work. If you pencil in walking in your daily routine you will adopt a basic healthy lifestyle habit the first month of the new year.
Here are some tips on how to adopt a very basic healthy lifestyle:
- Plan the changes. Put the changes on your calendar and plan to take that first step.
- Get a full head to toe medical workup.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you slip.
Get a calendar out and plan the year out. What will you do in January to improve your lifestyle so you can get healthier? A good place to start is by making health care appointments. When is the last time you had eye care services or visited the dentist?
There are plenty of places to get convenient medical care. There is no excuse not to. Make time to see the doctor, the eye care specialist, the dentist, and any other health care provider that you need to.
Adopting a basic healthy lifestyle starts with getting a baseline on your health. It is important to learn how far you have to go to get healthy. A healthcare team can help you on your journey and keep you on track.
It probably took you a while to get off track with your health, it will likely take a little while to get back on track. You have to pace yourself and make a list of priorities. What is the most important thing for you to focus on to get your health back on track?
Do you need to lose some weight? Maybe you need to quit smoking? Address the biggest problems first. Make some changes then move on down the list. In many cases, making one change will affect your health in many ways. For example, losing weight can lower your risk of diabetes, help you to breathe easier, and take the stress off your joints.
If you need the motivation to make those initial changes, motivate yourself with the promise of a reward. Let’s say you always wanted a facelift but you need to lose some weight to get your blood pressure under control. Lose the weight, get your blood pressure under control, then make the appointment for your facelift.
For many people knowing there is a prize waiting at the end of the battlefield of change will motivate them to make those changes. Of course, it does not have to something like a facelift, it can be something like replacing that old pesky garage door with a new garage door installation when you have gone to the gym three times a week for three months in a row. You get the idea. Make the reward worth your while.
Create a Healthy Environment
Successfully adopting a basic healthy lifestyle and sticking with it relies heavily on your environment. You cannot keep a pantry stacked with chips and other snacks and expect to eat well. Take them out with the old and in with the new approach.
Get rid of all the things that are going to sabotage your progress. Make your space a space that promotes healthy living. If it is has been a while since you have enjoyed your custom pool in the backyard, get it up to par and start using it.
Create a space in your home where you can go to get some exercise in. Don’t invest big bucks in equipment because you really do not need tons of equipment. All you need is a space where you have access to the internet that will ensure you can connect with online workout classes using simple things you likely already have around the house.
That pool will be a great option for some exercise but you may need to do some work on it first. Arrange for professional pool cleaners to get it sparkling clean, then use it to swim laps. Make the most of your environment by creating a space that supports your journey.
Here are some other environment tips to help you stick to your resolution of adopting a basic healthy lifestyle:
- Don’t keep sugary drinks in the house. Get rid of any sodas, juices, and alcohol before the new year starts. Make water your go-to drink. If you do not have it in the house you will instantly consume a lot less of these drinks with empty calories and be forced to drink plain old water.
- Make a no blue screen rule for your bedroom. Take the TV out of your bedroom, leave your phone off, and never ever do any work in your bedroom. Studies have shown that sleep is one of the most important factors of not only good physical health but good mental health as well. Make your room a sanctuary of rest and relaxation.
- Post reminders around the house. Write down reminders about the changes you are trying to make and post them in conspicuous areas where you will be reminded.
Removing items from your environment that you are trying to avoid consuming is one of the easiest ways to ensure you consume them less or not at all. If you smoke and quitting is a top priority, throw out ashtrays, lighters, and of course, your cigarettes.
Create order in your environment by addressing repairs. You may not realize it but when something is in need of repair in your home, even if you think it is not a worry, it can be stressing you. For example, if you are not able to use your hot tub because you need hot tub repair, it may not be high on your list of worries but it is still on your mind. When you have your house in order it is easier to focus on the changes that you want to make.
Let’s Talk About Stress
Stress is a huge lifestyle upset for everyone. Stress has been linked to a wide range of health concerns. It certainly can make any health conditions worse. Getting stress under control can actually help you to develop a basic healthy lifestyle.
People are known for stress eating, smoking, overindulging in adult libations, and partaking in other not so good for you type activities all because of stress. While it is impossible to avoid all stressors
Developing coping mechanisms for stress can be a great way to start on the path to a basic healthy lifestyle. There are habits you can develop that will help you to better deal with stress. Meditation can be very helpful as a coping mechanism for stress.
Here is a little factoid, exercise can help to reduce feelings of stress. We touched on how important exercise can be to a basic healthy lifestyle. Keeping feelings of stress in check is easier if you adopt some exercise habits. Even a brisk walk can help to put things in perspective and help you to recharge.
Doing something that you enjoy doing can also keep feelings of stress from becoming overwhelming. Reading a few chapters of a good book can be just the escape that you need to regroup. Instead of eating your stress away try to read your stress away.
If you just cannot get the stress under control you may want to look into getting professional help. There has been some evidence that medical cannabis can help to get stress under control for people that really are struggling. Medical cannabis delivery services may be available in your area to help get what you need without having to go to a dispensary.
The Real Basic of A Basic Healthy Lifestyle
Resolutions aside the real basic ingredient to a basic healthy lifestyle is balance and moderation. A bowl of your favorite ice cream once in a while is not “bad” as long as you complement that bowl with a nice stroll in the evening. A basic health lifestyle is all about a give and take approach for living well.
Don’t beat yourself up about the things you are not yet ready to accomplish. Celebrate the things that you are able to accomplish. Maybe in January walking the full ten minutes a day is not working out, maybe you only got up to 8 minutes a day. That is 8 more minutes a day than you walked last month.
Maybe you have not been able to kick your Pepsi cola habit but you are down to a glass a day with dinner, good on you. Celebrate the milestones, and forgive yourself if you backslide. Get right back on the horse and start riding toward that basic healthy lifestyle. You can do it one step at a time.