In my experience as a nutritionist, I see how my clients get overwhelmed when the time comes for them to start making changes in their lifestyles. And I completely get it! Because changing your habits does not come naturally; conversely, it takes focus, attention, and let’s be real, sometimes a lot of effort. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a dull task, or you would feel miserable giving up some old habits while adopting new practices, right? To enjoy a healthier lifestyle once it for all, in today’s article, I’m sharing 12 elemental practices; you need to apply. And I’m not talking about things we already know (such as working out, eating healthy, sleeping better, or practicing breathing).
On the contrary, these principles are intentional and mindful exercises you can apply whenever you have a health goal, whichever that one is. Also, I’m attaching a worksheet that will assist you personally with every one of these 12 principles. This worksheet aims to make you go deeper into your intentions and approach to your health goals and hopefully help you enjoy your lifestyle much more! You can download it, fill it up and work on it whenever you need.
Some common goals that my clients share are to feel better (whatever that means for each of them), reach a healthy weight and hormonal balance, maintain consistency with their workout routine, grow muscle, and incorporate mindful practice in their lives. Do you relate to any of these? There can be many transformations that we as humans want! And that is the beautiful part of life: you continue changing and evolving. But the changes you want to create for yourself can also feel scary, big, impossible, and overwhelming. And other times, you have a big drive to pursue them, but you just get lost trying.
It can feel very frustrating to be stressed and anxious when you intend to do something good for yourself, ha? I have been there, in the same shoes so many times. Maybe I have wanted to get stronger, but I cannot train as much as I wish to. Or sometimes, I want to eat healthier but ending eating many times a week away from home. Life happens, and you get lost. So, you need support and a strong foundation, and that’s what this worksheet is for!
After being in the diet culture for decades and stepping out of it to pursue a more holistic and ancestral way of eating and living, I gathered some meaningful information to help you enjoy a healthy lifestyle once it for all! Here’s the 12 steps roadmap. Please read the description of each point and download the fillable PDF file. You can make copies for every health goal or use the same guide for many different objectives.
How to enjoy a healthy lifestyle
Step 1. Know your whys
Your reasons why you want to accomplish your goal will be your drivers. In other words, they will keep you on track when motivation vanishes. Because yes, you might have significant momentum and feel like nothing will stop you, but the reality is that life happens, and it is easy to lose focus when things get tough. And it is at that moment that you will continue pursuing your goal only if you have a desire more significant than your excuses, meaning when you have a focused mind and heart on why you must accomplish your health goals. Please fill up the worksheet to get very clear on your whys.
Step 2. Change “I should” to “I want or I must.”
‘I should’ come with so much guilt and degradation. I should; it is not an empowering statement—all the contrary. It underlines a profund negative belief. For example, whenever you say I should do X, but you don’t, your inner being thinks you need to be better, or you lack something (discipline, for instance). One example is if you skip your workout sessions the first four days of the week. Instead of feeling empowered to go again on Friday, you start feeling lazy and unmotivated, and you take the whole week off.
By saying I want to do it, or must do it, you’re affirming that you deliberately decide to change or transform, giving you all the power and momentum. Find out how changing this phrase makes you feel when you fill-up the PDF exercise.
Step 3. Create a vision board
OK, my fellow human, please remember that you are a potent manifestator. As human, you are constantly and never-ending creating your life with your thought and actions. So it is essential to remind your brain what you want. Because with so many distractions, influences, and challenges of the day-a-day life, losing track of your north is very easy. And what better way to stay on track and connect with your goals than by creating a vision board? I mean an exclusive panel with images of all your intention, reasons why, characteristics, and specifics. Yes please! I love vision boards; they have assisted me a lot in creating the life I want to live purposefully. If you want to go deep into this principle, I invite you to read the article with step-by-step instructions on making a Vision Board to manifest the life you want!
Step 4. Keep it simple
When it comes to changing or adding new habits, kipping it simple is one of the most important principles to keep in mind. The simpler a process is, the easier it is to repeat and stick to it. After all, a healthy lifestyle has to do everything with decluttering and simplicity, not the other way around. So, if you want to get your results more efficiently with fewer distractions, choices, and clutter, then you need to keep things simple.
And this principle is one of the most difficult to follow because, as a human, you are a complex being with tons of skills and different ways to do things. So it is crucial to remind yourself of ways to make any process smoother. Please complete the worksheet to discover routes to simplify processes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Step 5. Find a healthy comparison
Oh dear, if you are a human, you will constantly compare. And in terms of the physical plane, comparing bodies is so usual. As with everything, there are always different ways to approach a body comparison. It can be as a feeling of envy or insecurity (which you have probably been there to know how exhausting and discouraging it feels) or as an inspiration (which can help you maintain your north, follow a roadmap, and feel supported in many ways).
So, why not consciously decide to use comparison in a way it serves you? You can learn much from following (or even contacting!) a story of somebody who accomplished something you want (like leaving an addiction, overcoming a disease, or getting in shape). Learning about their journey, how they did it, and how they faced their challenges can help your journey. In the worksheet, you will explore ways to use comparison in an empowering way!
Step 6. Strive for consistency and not perfection
It is so weird that we humans want too much to be perfect, as if!! It is just an impossible task. But I get it. What you want in the end is to do the best you can. But let me tell you the truth: you are doing your best! All the time. We all are. And that doesn’t mean you cannot do it better, but knowing you are doing the best you can under the conditions you are in right now, is a very loving belief to take. So instead of punishing yourself for “failing,” try to put your intention and attention in consistency. If you are constant, you will get the results you want every time.
Step 7. Focus on the positive
It’s human nature to think about the time we skip discipline and focus. It is so easy to focus on everything we are doing wrong. And even if it is a great practice to acknowledge where we were mistaken to correct it, staying with a negative mindset will only boycott your result. On the contrary, reminding yourself of all your gains, goods, overcoming challenges, and excellent results while achieving your goal will bring you more self-confidence and a boost to continue working towards your goal.
Step 8. Find a physical activity you enjoy
Of course, everybody knows that you need to move your body regularly to grow older in a healthy way. But unfortunately, only some people work out regularly. Skipping doing exercise is common and expected, but if you are doing something you enjoy, it will be easier to stick to it. Right? So how to find something you like? Check the pdf guide I attached to find more insights about yourself.
Step 9. Practice balance
Being obsessed with numbers won’t keep you healthy. Practicing balance is about finding what makes you feel good most of the time. For that, you can apply the 80/20 principle. Where 80% of the time, you make healthy food choices, move your body, and practice rest. The other 20% of the time, allow yourself to break your rules. And this does not mean that you will have a “cheat meal” on purpose; instead, the idea is to try to do things right and mindfully. But if you fail out of rail, which you will, you know it is OK too because you have been doing it all along.
Step 10. Enjoy the process
Growth does not happen through the physical achievement of the goal. It happens while working toward that goal. The ups, downs, pivots, and learning lessons make achieving the goal worth it in the first place. Remind yourself that you are building skills, character, self-confidence, and especially the discipline it takes to get to your results through the process.
Step 11. Shift your perspective
So often, you want to achieve a goal because it is good for you, but it does not motivate you enough (or even overwhelms you) to plan an action. If this happens, you must change your perspective on approaching your goal. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you need to change your diet drastically, and you feel you will not eat all the things you love anymore.
A change of perspective would be to think about all the positive outcomes changing your diet will bring. Things like how amazing you will feel, how your body will heal, all the new recipes you will learn, and all the growth you will have just by staying open to change. When you start shifting the way you see a situation, the journey toward whatever you want to change will be more joyful and positive. In point #8 of the attached PDF exercise, you will learn how to do this shift.
Step 12. Celebrate your small accomplishments
As one of the most known phrases, ‘Enjoy the ride,’ let’s celebrate every important step and milestone of your journey! By doing so, you are acknowledging all the effort it took to be there and the path you have already walked, which gives you more confidence in yourself to continue moving forward!
Healthy Lifestyle Worksheet
Watch the video
Hope you enjoy it
With love and gratitude, Pia