I don’t think it’s a secret that health comes from lifestyle changes rooted in food, exercise, sleep, and stress management. What I do think people get stuck on is HOW to implement these lifestyle changes successfully. Let’s face it, we live in a world where health is inconvenient. So, there are 5 tips I have for you to create a successful environment for implementing a healthy lifestyle. The underlying theme in all of these tips is making it MORE CONVENIENT to do the right thing than the unhealthy thing. That means creating obstacles for yourself if you’re going to choose an unhealthy option. We are wired for convenience and ease over anything else, so the more you can create convenience and ease for healthy choices, the more successful you’ll be.
5 Practical Tips for Creating Health
- Don’t buy it. It’s a fact that if it’s there, you’ll be tempted. Am I right? If all you have in the house are healthy options, it creates an obstacle to choose unhealthy options. You may STILL choose the unhealthy option on occasion because the desire outweighs the cost. However, most times, you’ll be too tired to go making special trips just to eat something bad. Have lots of fresh fruit and veggies on hand, and you’ll never starve.
- Meal prep. I am not a prepper. I love cooking. That means that I often will buy what sounds good and come up with imaginative combinations throughout the week. If you are unfamiliar with cooking or just find it stressful, then you’re more likely to make a good decision when mentally fatigued if it’s made for you. Making meals and having them available ensures that when you get home from a busy day, and you can’t muster one more decision to come out of your brain, you do what’s convenient. As long as that convenient thing is prepped healthy meals, then you’re golden!
- Hang out with good influences. Friends are friends no matter what, but you’d be lying if you said it’s easy to hang out with friends on a different agenda when you’re trying to make healthy choices. There are likely friends that also want the same goals. Make plans to hang out with them and choose food options that propel you both toward positive goals. Don’t have any friends interested in turning around their health? Then ask them to join you! Having company in the process can force you to make good decisions even when you don’t want to.
- Force yourself to create all junk food from scratch. Yup. Think about it. French fries. Mmm. Not so yummy if you have to make them from scratch. They just became a lot more inconvenient. Cake. My mouth is watering. Not so appealing if I have to bake the dang thing. I’m not saying never indulge, but it’s the same principle as having to leave your house to make a bad decision. If you have to bake or cook these indulgences from scratch, you will likely just say “no thanks” more often than not. Who has time to do all that baking anyway?!
- Find easy ways to incorporate movement. Make it a rule for yourself to park at the back of the parking lot. Schedule hangout time with friends that involves movement…dancing, walking, paddle boarding, biking, yoga. You will have the best of both worlds: time with friends plus getting in your activity.
These are simple and may seem like things you’ve heard 100 times, but how many times have you tried to implement them. Maybe just choosing ONE would have a huge impact. Heck, I know that if many people had to cook junk food from scratch, they would never go to the effort. The key is to create an obstacle between you and the unhealthy decision. That also means creating a convenience factor for the healthy decision. The more you can do that, the more successful implementation you will see. Try it and let me know how it goes!