Making a healthy lifestyle change can be overwhelming and intimidating. There is so much information and so many things you may wish to improve it’s no wonder many people throw in the towel before adopting lasting change. As we discussed earlier, it’s consistency that’s key for real results so these changes become habits.
Still, you can’t upend your every bad habit and expect to not go crazy! Adopting small changes and getting comfortable with them before tackling the next one is much more approachable and you’ll be more likely to stick with them until they are second nature.
Don’t know where to begin? Here are a few goals to start with. Set yourself up for success and take on 1-2 at a time!
Skip breakfast? Eat something simple each morning (banana, string cheese with almonds, yogurt, or breakfast bars are just a few ideas)
Buy lunch everyday? Aim to bring your own 3 days a week and make it the night before so it’s ready to go. A sandwich or wrap with canned soup, apple or yogurt are inexpensive and simple to make.
Replace soda with water during meals and view soda as the treat it is.
Go for the salad or fruit/veggies instead of fries/chips as a side.
Be prepared for afternoon energy slumps with nuts, string cheese or fruit in your desk or car.
If you drink coffee, drink COFFEE. Avoid the sweet coffee drinks you don’t know the ingredients of. Many contain over 400 calories and more sugar than you should have in a day!
Meet your friends for a post-work walk, coffee or window shopping instead of happy hour.
Download the StandApp (or set an alarm yourself) and get a reminder to standup and take a lap or do a few calf raises to get the blood flowing to your muscles. No amount of exercise will make up for sitting for hours on end!
Take the stairs whenever feasible (i.e. not carrying luggage or going to a meeting on the 85th floor!)
Take a walk with your spouse and/or kids when you get home and catch up on their day.
Park farther away at the grocery and work.
Aim for two to three 15-minute walks throughout your day. Any movement is better than no movement!
Do calf raises or squats while brushing your teeth or drying your hair (I do this, it’s not that crazy!)
Most of all, keep in mind that it’s about progress and not perfection. Habits take time to form and just because you indulge one day doesn’t mean you’ve fallen off the wagon; treats have a place in a healthy lifestyle, just not a place in every meal. Remind yourself WHY you’re making these changes and know it’s not always about making the BEST choice, but the BETTER choice!