How to Make Lifestyle Changes for Life


Black Board with Change Your Life

Setting goals and hitting targets can seem like an overwhelming task. It may even sound like something you wouldn't want to do. The American Heart Association has simplified the process. Since an unhealthy habit is easy to develop but hard to live with, simply substitute healthy habits for bad ones. After all, your greatest wealth is your good health, so review the steps below and approach lifestyle changes one step at a time.

Focus Your Efforts to Make Change Last - It is easy to make a proclamation about all the things you want to change in your life. Unfortunately, that is just wishful thinking and is an unrealistic approach to implementing lifestyle changes. Narrower your goals to produce more sustainable results. Remember, lifestyle changes are for life.

Don't Ignore Your Failed Attempts - Regardless of how weak your previous attempt at making a lifestyle change may have been, it is important to revisit the experience. Ask yourself, "Where did I get off track?". You may find that your previous attempt was more wishful thinking than realistic goal setting.

Believe in the Change You Want to Make - Changing your routine will be difficult until you decide to "own it". Trying to make lifestyle changes to please someone else does not produce the same level of motivation as deciding to do it for yourself. Plus, you are the only one that can muster the motivation you need to succeed.

Build a Support Group That Will Be There for You - Too often couples or best friends try to find the support and encouragement they need to make a chosen lifestyle change together... only to discover how easy it is to collectively "throw in the towel". Try to pick a support person(s) who brings out your sense of competitiveness. A perfect solution is someone who has been in your shoes.

Remember to Celebrate Your Success - The goal you set for your lifestyle change was to improve your life, not destroy it. Although you need to keep your nose to the grindstone, don't become a tyrant. It can cause burnout. Hitting your milestones should be celebrated as a positive event. Reward yourself with personal time that makes you feel good about what you've achieved.

Having the desire to make a lifestyle change is the first step but attaining the goals you set requires a commitment for life. According to a recent article published by the American Psychological Association, anyone attempting a lifestyle change can expect to have lapses. So, don't get hung up on being perfect. Whenever you have a misstep, have the resolve to immediately get back on track... then forget about it. 

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