Change can be difficult. It’s particularly difficult when it’s a habit that you have held onto for a long time. However, change can also be great. When you’re trying to make a change for a healthier lifestyle, there are sure-fire ways to make it easier. Here are five smart tips to make a permanent healthier lifestyle change.
#1 Replace bad habits with good ones
Instead of trying to eliminate behaviors and get rid of bad habits, create new habits. It’s much easier to modify than it is to eliminate. For example, perhaps you drink a lot of soda each day. Trying to eliminate soda from your day may be a difficult task. However, if you replace soda with sparkling water then it becomes much easier.
Identify the habits you need to change and create a new habit to replace them.
#2 Small steps
Trying to make a major lifestyle change is extremely difficult. It can often feel overwhelming. Instead, create smaller changes that support a larger goal. For example, if your goal is to exercise for thirty minutes each day, start small. The first week, make your goal to exercise for ten minutes each day. That’s manageable and you will succeed. The next week, add five minutes to your routine. Continue adding five minutes each week until you’ve reached your goal.
Identify the big changes you want to make to your lifestyle and create smaller goals that support your change. It’s much easier to achieve smaller goals than to make a huge lifestyle change. You’ll have a smoother road to success. And it’ll be easier to sustain your new lifestyle habit.
#3 Reward yourself
Making changes in your life is challenging. Take time to reward yourself for your successes. When you achieve a goal, even the small goals, treat yourself to something nice. Get a massage. Watch your favorite movie. Do something nice for yourself. However, make sure the reward supports your new lifestyle change.
For example, if you’re cutting out sugary snacks you don’t want to reward yourself with a sugary snack. Instead, reward yourself with an afternoon off from work, or a new gadget or pair of shoes.
#4 Make it easy
Some lifestyle changes feel complicated. In fact, many unhealthy habits became habits because they were easy. For example, going to the drive through for lunch is easier than planning ahead and packing a lunch. You’ll have more success if you can make adopting your new habit as easy as possible. For example, you might pack your lunch the night before and do your shopping on the weekend.
#5 Cut yourself some slack
Change can be challenging. Instead of feeling down or giving up when you struggle, give yourself a break. Acknowledge that you messed up. Then turn and face the challenge head on with a positive attitude.
The key to making permanent lifestyle changes is to manage your expectations. Approach your goals with a strategy and a plan. Nothing happens overnight. However, with patience and dedication you can make complete lifestyle changes. Live a longer, stronger and better life!