5 Ways to Get Back to Your Healthy Lifestyle
5 Ways to Get Back into Your Healthy Lifestyle
Trust me, I know how easy it is to get busy and fall out of a rut. Maybe you had a good thing going and then life happens. You miss a workout and then another. You forget to meal plan and then you find yourself eating out several times and passing off a buttered bowl of pasta for dinner.
It’s easy to let a few slip-ups in your new habits derail your commitment and motivation. Life happens, and nobody follows a plan perfectly. The most important thing you can do for yourself if you find yourself trying to get back to a healthy lifestyle is this:
“Strive for progress, not perfection.”
Progress doesn’t always look like massive action. It looks like small, sustainable steps you take each day to install your habits and improve your life.
Here are 5 ways to get back into your healthy lifestyle, especially if you’ve fallen off of the bandwagon.
1. Find Grace and Balance
Instead, focus on moving forward and continuing to make the positive change you are working toward. A 100% or nothing focus will result in burnout and defeat. Instead, aim for a 70-90% success rate to allow for the occaisional off-day.
2. Find Pockets of Fitness
This is something I call the “5 minute fitness method”. Have a series of simple pilates/yoga and/or HIIT movement sequences that you can complete in the pockets of your day.
In my workday, I use a modified version of the Pomodoro method of productivity, which is a sequence of 30 minute focused work and a 5 minute mental break. With our sedentary lifestyles, these 5 minute breaks make wonderful movement breaks as well.
If you don’t have 5 minutes during the work day, utilize TV commercial breaks, cooking time, and other found time in your day.
3. Don’t overhaul your nutrition all at once.
Try making small, sustainable switches in your regular routine. For example, if you have been skipping breakfast, start by eating a handful of almonds and blueberries that you can take with you. It doesn’t make sense to try to start making omelettes and green juices every day, but you can make small changes until you’ve installed the habits you want.
4.Don’t forget your emotional health.
Small, seemingly insignificant pockets of time where you could take some quiet time really does make a difference in your focus, energy, peace, and head space.
It’s worth your time to set aside a small amount of time per day to be quiet and still. As little as 2-5 minutes can make a difference. This time can be prayer, reflection, or a calming hobby.
I’ve recently taken up embroidery again, and find it to be a meditative experience.
5. Try Habit Stacking
Habit stacking is the concept of adding one small, manageable, habit you want to lock in to a habit you are already doing. The idea that associating your new habit with an existing one makes it easier to incorporate a new habit and gives you a much higher chance of succeeding at installing your new habit.
A few real-life examples of this follow.
- Taking a multi-vitamin (new habit) when you brush your teeth (existing habit).
- Reading a page of a personal development book (new habit) right before checking your phone in the morning (existing habit) Ideally, you could eventually replace the Instagram habit with reading or personal time completely.
- Adding a 5 minute fitness sequence (new habit) right before showering (existing habit).
Ultimately, your focus should be making small, actionable, and sustainable changes that build up to creating the life and health that you desire.
In my coaching, I teach my clients to reverse engineer their goals and to break them down into steps or levels of habits/activities that either take 5 minutes or less, or they require less than 15 seconds to decide to do.
This principle of compounded habits that yield massive results is a proven method for sustainanable lifestyle change through habit installation.
Wherever you are in your journey, remember that you can achieve any goal you want to. You just need a purpose and a plan.
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