Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads, where you know a change needs to happen, but the sheer amount of work leaves you huddling in a corner?
Embarking on a healthy lifestyle can feel like a daunting journey. We know we need to change direction, but the work is just too overwhelming.
And yet, if we don’t turn the corner and make intentional changes, we’ll find ourselves at the same crossroads over and over, never making headway.
As I juggle all the moving parts of my schedule, I’ve noticed the parallels between the tasks that need my attention and the daunting list that faced me five years ago, when I first decided to trade out my unhealthy habits for new ones.
If you find yourself in that place – ready to make a change, ready to build healthy habits, but unsure how to make it stick – here are four steps to lead you toward success.
1. Be honest about your current situation. Take a few minutes to assess where you currently are with your health. If you could rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you land?
2. Choose one area to work on. Reflect on the particular habits you want to change, and pick one area to work on first. Maybe it’s reining in your late-night munchies. Maybe it’s being active for 30 minutes a day. Whatever stands out in your mind, write it on a piece of paper.
3. Make a detailed plan. Looking at the area you want to focus on, brainstorm several ways you can practically overcome it. If it’s late-night munchies, you might choose to go to bed earlier each night. Or you might stock your kitchen with a healthy snack you enjoy, so you can easily grab it when the munchies hit. After you’ve brainstormed a handful of ideas, put a star by the idea that feels the most doable to you. Then write it on your calendar. Piece it out day-by-day if you need to.
For example, if you decide to go to bed earlier each night, you can set a reminder on your phone to chime when it’s bedtime. If you choose to make a healthy snack readily available, schedule a grocery trip and write a list of the healthy options you want to buy.
4. Tell someone about your plan. Enlist the help of a friend or family member by telling them about your goal. Regardless of whether you want them to keep you accountable on an ongoing basis, simply telling someone will solidify the goal in your mind. If you find a few friends taking on healthy challenges of their own, all the better!
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
No matter what, don’t stay stagnant. Change IS possible. It just requires a few minutes of focus and an intentional plan.
Enjoy the journey!
ONE SIMPLE STEP: Sometime this week, work through the steps in today’s post. Spend a few minutes away from distractions so you can focus on your health, visioning where you want to be when you’ve reached your goal.
ONE STEP FURTHER: Enlist a support system to keep you accountable, whether it’s one person or a group of friends. Share your goal as specifically as possible, and ask them to check in daily or weekly — whichever fits best with what you want to achieve.
Running photo by l i g h t p o e t/BigStock.com