Most of us know from experience that making lifestyle changes can be devilishly difficult. Sometimes years go by and we just don’t seem to be able to make the changes we desperately want like quit smoking, lose weight and get back in shape.
Still, despite challenges, we do occasionally succeed in making lifestyle changes. I started thinking about the most successful changes I have made during my life and what it was that made the change possible.
I decided to write a series on my tips. 🙂
My Top Tips on How to Change a Lifestyle for the Better
Tip #1: Ditch all or nothing thinking
Many lifestyle changes come to an end before they have really started because everything doesn’t go according to some rigid, preconceived plan. You decide to follow some diet or exercise regime and it’s going fine until one day you eat that pepperoni pizza with extra cheese!
I think the problem is not that you ate that pizza but rather your own thinking. If you got over the fact that you had that pizza and carried on like nothing happened, the pizza incident would have been just a small blip on your radar.
I learned this first hand when I lost 26 pounds following Weight Watchers program seven years ago (I must have unlearned that on some point, though!). After 2 weeks of following the program I caved in and indulged in some sweets. If I had, at that moment, decided I had failed in my diet I certainly wouldn’t have eventually lost those 26 pounds. Instead I somehow managed to shrug off that incident and go on as if nothing had happened (I didn’t punish myself for eating that candy either).
I actually got into a habit of eating sweets once a week. The only consequence that weekly habit of mine was that I may have not lost weight as fast as possible.
(It’s another issue altogether that most diets are so restrictive that they practically set you up for a failure. It’s not merely a question of lack of self-discipline; you have probably just made a bad diet choice.)
Life is messy. You might not achieve your goals in exactly the way or in the exact timeframe you originally planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your goals.
Do you have similar experiences? Leave your comments below, please.