As a holistic life and wellness coach, I help people shift their behaviors to positively impact their overall well-being. We often need to dig a little to uncover the emotion behind the behavior. Linking positive emotions to positive behaviors is how we create sustainable lifelong wellness. Here are some tips to make leading a healthy lifestyle easier and more enjoyable!
AVOID BLACK & WHITE THINKING
My clients constantly hear me remind them to “live in the gray.” Lifelong wellness will never be perfect. Inevitably, our best-laid wellness plans will hit some bumps in the road. It’s “all or nothing,” “perfect or failure” thinking that makes a long-term healthy lifestyle unachievable. Think of lifelong wellness as doing the best you can each week. Some weeks will be stellar, and some may be a disaster. Roll with it. Don’t set yourself up for failure by striving for perfection. Live in the gray.
FIND A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY THAT YOU LOVE
When you love doing something, you keep doing it! This goes for exercise, too. Take the time to find what you ENJOY. Try it all, and don’t stop searching until you find your thing. I don’t care if it’s unicycle riding! If you love it, you’ll look forward to doing it and will stick with it.
ENJOY PARTY FOODS… AT PARTIES
Treat your willpower as you would a three-year-old child. The more you say, “Don’t open that cookie jar!” we all know how that scenario ends. So instead of obsessing about NOT eating something, when, for example, you see cupcakes in the breakroom, try telling yourself, “I’ll have a cupcake at the next office birthday celebration.” This reprograms your thinking so you can enjoy the cupcake on your co-worker’s birthday and stops the “off-limits” food obsession.
GET BACK ON THE HORSE
Let’s take a minute to think about how silly it is when we “mess up” (maybe we ate more pizza than we wanted to or skipped a planned workout) and throw our hands up and say, “Forget it! I can’t do this!” Can we cut the dramatics, please? Getting back on track is your next meal or workout away. As I said, lifelong wellness will never be perfect. Live your life, and when you fall off the horse, get right back on like nothing ever happened. That “mess up” will make no difference in terms of lifelong wellness, but quitting sure will!
IS THIS SUSTAINABLE?
There are so many diet and exercise crazes out there that it boggles the mind. Some are fine, and others are utterly ridiculous. Before you start any diet or exercise routine, ask yourself, “Can I do this for the long term?” If the answer is anything but YES, please do yourself a favor and look for a better option. The reason lifelong wellness seems unattainable is that we make plans that aren’t sustainable.
If you find yourself stuck in a vicious cycle or feel like you’ve “tried everything,” get a qualified wellness coach to help. You’ll save time, frustration, money, and your sanity.
By Heather Jordan, M.S., CSCS, CHWC, CECP, Psych-K Facilitator