Starting a Lifestyle Change for Better Health
So, you want to get healthy. Maybe your goal is broad, like improving your overall health. Or perhaps it is more specific, like losing 20 pounds, increasing your speed, or building strength. No matter what you’re striving for, your key to the best, most sustainable results, is a lifestyle change.
We often think of health as a destination. We tend to believe that if we eat better and exercise more, we will achieve our desired results. However, health is so much more than nutrition and exercise, it is quite literally a lifestyle change. It certainly includes eating better and moving more, but it also includes prioritizing sleep, managing stress, getting outside, practicing gratitude and positivity and making room for self-care.
When we think of health as a destination, it implies that once we land there's nothing left to do. But that’s not at all the case. Once you reach your results, you have to work to maintain them. Plus, you’re likely to develop even more goals along the way. Health is a continuous journey of building better habits.
Let’s explore how you can begin the journey of changing your lifestyle for the better.
Health As a Destination Versus a Lifestyle
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” -Arthur Ashe
We live in a hasty society. We’re constantly on the lookout for a quick fix. We’ve come up with tons of diets that will help you “lose weight in just seven days” or workout programs that will “get you shredded in 3 months.” We’re so fixated on this idea of getting to where we want to go as fast as possible, that we forget to embrace the joy of the journey.
Good things come with time. Nothing that promises quick results is going to last. It’s not sustainable or realistic. To truly reach your goals, you need to not only change what you eat and how you move; you need to change your entire being. That change only occurs through the countless hours you put in working towards your goal.
If you think about boxing, you don’t just step into the ring and become a pro, right? It takes a lot of time to build your strength, improve your speed, perfect your technique and refine your skills. Even after years of boxing, there’s still more to learn. There’s always a skill to improve or a new concept to develop. The same is true for a healthy lifestyle; it’s a lifelong journey of growth and self-development.
5 Simple Steps to Starting a Lifestyle Change for Better Health
OK, we’ve embedded it your brain now that health is a lifestyle change, not a short-term destination. That said, you may be wondering how to implement that lifestyle change. After all, it can be a little overwhelming.
Here are some simple steps to take the overwhelm out and begin your journey to a healthier you.
Step 1: Work On Your Mindset
Believe it or not, the first step does not include eating more salad or spending more time in the studio. It simply involves focusing on your mindset (although that’s not always so simple).
You may be unknowingly engaging in self-destructive behaviors that are sabotaging your health. First and foremost, thinking that you will reach your goals in a few days, or even a few months, may not be a healthy mindset, depending on your goals.
Try to pay close attention to your thoughts and behaviors for at least a week. Notice what is holding you back. Are you engaging in a lot of negative self-talk? Do you turn to unhealthy food to cope with your emotions? Are you constantly under stress? Have you set realistic goals, or are you expecting too much from yourself?
You can try journaling and reflection to help you get a hold of your feelings. We often engage in self-destructive behaviors without knowing it. So it’s important to have a method of tracking it to see it for what it is. Once you are aware of what’s going on, you can take the necessary steps to overcome a negative mindset.
Step 2: Set Your Goals
You can’t start making the necessary changes without having solid goals, right? Now is the time to zone in and figure out what you really want.
Keep in mind; there is an art to creating goals. While mapping out where you want to be, make sure that your goals are SMART. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
We have two more tips that will turn your SMART goals into SMARTER goals:
- Write them down! You are 42% more likely to reach your goals when you write them down.
- Create a long-term goal (the ultimate destination), and then a few shorter goals to help you get there. Think of the smaller goals as stepping stones. These are areas on your map that will guide you to where you want to be.
Step 3: Create a Tribe of Support
We’re almost to the juicy part. However, before you even begin taking action, it’s important that you create a tribe of people who can support you throughout your journey. There’s nothing worse than going out to dinner with friends and being pressured into having dessert. I mean, it’s hard enough without someone shoving it in your face.
By telling your close friends and loved ones your goals, and outwardly asking for their support, they will most likely be more than willing to be a part of your journey. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire them to jump on the bandwagon as well!
Step 4: Start Making Small Changes
Now, it’s time for some action. But wait! Slow it down.
In starting a new journey it’s easy to be super motivated in the beginning, but putting too much on yourself can be a sure way to experience burnout early on. Creating a new lifestyle isn’t easy, but you can make it easier on yourself by going slow and making small changes.
You may think that doing a lot at once will get you results faster, but more often than not it will backfire. The American Psychological Association recommends changing one behavior at a time to improve your overall success. It might take a little longer, but it will also last longer.
Step 5: Be Consistent
Above all else, be consistent. The only way to truly create a lifestyle change is to develop habits that stick. And the only way to create a habit is to practice it over and over.
It’s important to note that consistency doesn’t equate to perfection. It doesn’t mean you won’t fall. You must make room for mistakes and slip-ups because they are bound to happen. Being consistent involves getting right back up and using the next opportunity to make a healthy choice. That is what a lifestyle is all about.
We believe in the power of boxing to change lives. It’s not just about being the best boxer. It’s about creating a lifestyle that allows you to become the best version of yourself. Start your journey to health now by booking a Gloveworx training session! We’d love to be a part of your journey.