You’re once again feeling motivated to eat better, exercise more, drink less caffeine or make any number of the positive lifestyle changes you’ve been telling yourself you want to make. You’ve tried before — probably declaring another attempt as a New Year’s resolution — but without feeling much success. Making a lifestyle change is challenging, especially when you want to transform many things at once. This time, think of it not as a resolution but as an evolution.
Lifestyle changes are a process that take time and require support. Once you’re ready to make a change, the difficult part is committing and following through. So do your research and make a plan that will prepare you for success. Careful planning means setting small goals and taking things one step at a time.
Here are five tips from the American Psychological Association to help you make lasting, positive lifestyle and behavior changes:
Make a plan that will stick
Your plan is a map that will guide you on this journey of change. You can even think of it as an adventure. When making your plan, be specific. Want to exercise more? Detail the time of day when you can take walks and how long you’ll walk. Write everything down, and ask yourself if you’re confident that these activities and goals are realistic for you. If not, start with smaller steps. Post your plan where you’ll most often see it as a reminder.
After you’ve identified realistic short-term and long-term goals, break down your goals into small, manageable steps that are specifically defined and can be measured. Is your long-term goal to lose 20 pounds within the next five months? A good weekly goal would be to lose one pound a week. If you would like to eat healthier, consider as a goal for the week replacing dessert with a healthier option, like fruit or yogurt. At the end of the week, you’ll feel successful knowing you met your goal.
Change one behavior at a time
Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time, so replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Many people run into problems when they try to change too much too fast. To improve your success, focus on one goal or change at a time. As new healthy behaviors become a habit, try to add another goal that works toward the overall change you’re striving for.
Involve a buddy
Whether it is a friend, co-worker or family member, someone else on your journey will keep you motivated and accountable. Perhaps it can be someone who will go to the gym with you or someone who is also trying to stop smoking. Talk about what you are doing. Consider joining a support group. Having someone with who to share your struggles and successes makes the work easier and the mission less intimidating.
Ask for support
Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and commitment. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking help from a psychologist or others who are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body, as well as the factors that promote behavior change. Asking for help doesn’t mean a lifetime of therapy; even just a few sessions can help you examine and set attainable goals or address the emotional issues that may be getting in your way.
Making the changes that you want takes time and commitment, but you can do it. Just remember that no one is perfect. You will have occasional lapses. Be kind to yourself. When you eat a brownie or skip the gym, don’t give up. Minor missteps on the road to your goals are normal and okay. Resolve to recover and get back on track.
I know the New Year is a couple of months away, but at the same time, the need for change is greater than ever. I think a lot of people who want to make a change in their lives attempt to tackle the changes all at once. I know that doing so creates a fast change, but limits the success and sustainability. People will rebound back to old habits and will ultimately do more harm than good. So my advice, and the advice I give to everyone is this….
Like this article states, make small changes at first. Make the changes you know you can sustain AND succeed with. Without success, there is no sustainability. It is primarily why I do not do small engine repair. First, I don’t know a thing about it. Second, I am afraid that failure will make it so I am trimming my grass by hand come next spring. You need to be able to succeed. So saying “I will not drink any more diet soda ever” will not work. Maybe cut your servings in half. Instead of 4 diet cokes a day, make it two….then cut two into one….then cut it down to zero. The sooner you can detox your body, the better you will feel.
Understand, too, that the major source of chronic disease is inflammation. If your lifestyle is increasing the inflammation in your body, the door is open for disease. Diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, MS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia…all of these are a ramification, at least in part, by poor nutrition. The list is very long for diseases/ailments that are attributed to malnutrition.
So if you do absolutely nothing different, you will remain absolutely the same. If you make small changes, you begin to feel the changes that clean eating can cause. You succeed, therefore, you do it again tomorrow…and the next day…and the next day. A few days go by and your cravings will change. Your symptoms of chemical withdrawal subside and a new energy level rise to the top. There is less illness, less pain, more active/productive, clearer thinking, better decisions are made. Lives can change. It is possible. I have seen it happen right before my eyes. Write your goals down. Be your own self-advocate. Change because you are tired of being the same. Stop blaming “X” when the problem is really “U.” Be honest with yourself and come to terms with the fact that if you have a chronic disease, YOU have an opportunity to change yourself for the better. Educate yourself and find the reason why change is important. Whether it is for your family, your children, your job…whatever it is that will make it stick. Find it. No one can find it for you. When you find it…START! There is no better time to improve your health than right NOW.
My mission in life is to create a DISEASE FREE society. An ELA Community.
Do you want to watch your kids grow up, graduate, get married…and you wanted to meet your
grandchildren? These things should become your “WHY’ and were the backbone of your motivation to change your life style. While giving up old habits you may experience symptoms of
withdrawal. You may have headaches, body aches, lethargy and mood swings. After a few days, however, they shall pass.
My point is that anyone has the power to change if they just decide to do it. If you don’t want type 2 diabetes in your life, if you don’t want heart disease risk or cancer risk in your life, if you want the aches and pains gone, if you are tired of migraine headaches, then just change. Do something different. Change the make-up from the inside out. Lower your risks by doing the things necessary for getting rid of these things. As I have said before, find your ‘WHY.’ Return to the basics of our species….vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean protein, water…all of these things are available to you. Pretend you are a caveman (or cavewoman) with modern clothes, a job, a mortgage, a car payment, and/or a family. Do that and you will find yourself feeling a lot better. We have got to do something different before it’s too late. You will notice change in your tastes and cravings. You crave, which goes to say that your body craves, nutrition NOT food. Read that again so it sets in. You just view food differently than you did before and you don’t plan on ever going back.
What are you waiting for? Are you afraid that it will take too much time to accomplish being DISEASE FREE? The time will pass anyway and starting now, with small changes, will create some success and sustainability. Control the things you can and let go of the things you cannot control. Medication is an assistant; it does not have to be your life. The time for change is NOW… Be the change that the world awaits…change begins with you…Peace begins with you…
You’ve probably heard the saying “Let food be
thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived from 460 BC until 377 BC said it, and it is as true now as it was then.
It only makes sense that the things we eat affect our health. If you’ve never thought of that before, maybe now is the time. Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, or even cancer. If you’re looking into some of your options when it comes to treating disease without following standard models of care of modern medicine, now may be the time to consider the food you’re putting in your body.
You may not have heard of her, but Terry Wahls, M.D., has a lot to say about how food can heal disease. She was diagnosed with MS and was in a wheelchair until she came across a method of treatment that totally reversed her disease. She went from being wheelchair-bound to riding a bicycle in one year, all due to choosing foods that fought inflammation and return optimal function to your brain.
Dr. Wahls recommends you eat nine cups of fruits and vegetables a day (three green, three colors, and 3 sulfur) to cover vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; essential fats and protein from walnuts, and flax. She suggests you reduce or eliminate those foods that are likely to cause allergies, like gluten and dairy, and for you eat local, organic foods or to grow your own when possible. She speaks highly of kale but suggests you focus on greens in general, such as mustard and beet greens, spinach, parsley, and lettuce. Generally, the idea is to provide those foods to your body that allows your cells to a) work properly, b) eliminate toxins, and c) repair your body.
Here are some foods that are considered to have healing powers.
Kale is an all-round nutritional powerhouse. It’s high in antioxidants, Vitamin K, beta carotene, calcium, and Vitamin C. It has omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation, and can help fight against several types of cancers. It’s been proven to lower cholesterol, blocks the growth of cancer cells, and increases the ability of cells to repair DNA. You might not know it, but until the end of the Middle Ages, it was one of the most commonly-eaten vegetables in Europe.
Kiwifruit, also called kiwi fruit or kiwi, is a small but powerful fruit. It’s grown commercially in several countries like France, New Zealand, Chile, Italy, and Greece. It has a brownish-green, fuzzy exterior and flesh inside that is bright green or golden. It has rows of tiny black seeds and a unique but sweet flavor. It’s chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that help to fight cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and high blood pressure. It has blood-thinning properties that support vascular health. Additionally, this fruit can help damaged cells repair themselves, reduce damage to DNA and oxidative stress.
Cherries are another fruit that help fight inflammation, inhibit the growth of cancer, and can actually cause cancer cells to self-destruct. They help fight gout, reduce the risk of colon cancer. And have been used in Chinese medicine to fight rheumatism, anemia, and arthritis.
Watercress is one of those greens that everyone should eat. It has more Vitamin C than an orange, more iron than spinach, and more calcium than milk. It’s also high in Vitamin K, antioxidants and phytochemicals. It kills cancer cells, protects cells from carcinogens, and blocks carcinogens. In Chinese medicine, it’s used to improve digestion and fight off jaundice, mumps, bad breath, sore throat, and urinary problems.
Cabbage is full of Vitamins C, and has good amounts of K, B6, folate, fiber, and manganese. It’s full of antioxidant sulforaphanes that help to stimulate enzymes that get rid of carcinogens and fight free radicals. Diets high in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage are linked to low incidence of several types of cancers.
Broccoli is another of those super foods you should include in your diet more often. It’s got tons of Vitamin C, K, and A, as well as plentiful amounts of sulfur, folate, B vitamins, phytochemicals, and other nutrients. It helps protect against different types of cancers, heart disease, and inflammation. It’s good cooked or raw, although eating it raw means you will get more anticancer benefits.
Carrots are high in antioxidants, copper, Vitamins B6, C, and K, copper, manganese, beta carotene, and pantothenic acid. They kill off pre-cancerous cells and fight against a variety of cancers. A high intake of carrots is also linked to cardiovascular disease. They are available year-round but are freshest in the summer and fall. Wrap them in damp paper and store them in the fridge in an airtight container in order to preserve the most beta carotene.
And you thought dandelion was just a pest to eradicate from your lawn! It’s super-high in Vitamins A and K. It’s also high in Vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium, and fiber. Dandelion has actually been used as a healing food around the world for a very long time. It’s been used to treat kidney and liver disorders, hepatitis, anemia, and indigestion. It can help treat diabetes, lower cholesterol, and helps reduce bloat and edema.
All in all, there are a variety of foods you can eat to maintain or otherwise promote good health. If you’ve been diagnosed with a disease, your first step should be to get off the standard American diet you follow, and increase your intake of greens, cruciferous veggies, fruits, and colorful vegetables.
Thinking of starting a weigt loss program or eating better or wanting to put lean muscle on or just improve your overall health?
Well here are are 4 Mindset Tools needed to stay consistent and be successful:
1. BE FLEXIBLE!
Things happen all the time that will throw you a curveball and knock you off track. You need to be flexible with everything related to diet and exercise. Remember something is always better than nothing when it comes to moving.
2. BE CONSISTENT!
Having a mindset that focuses on being consistent will help you more than anything else. Being healthy is a lifetime journey, not a sprint. Being persistent with consistency will take your results to a new level. Yes it's hard work and when you are consistent about it, it feels good. Have the mindset that Once or Twice a week will not get you where you want to go. Do something for your health everyday regarding physical activity. Even if you have to do jumping jacks in the living room every commercial break- do something... EVERYDAY.
3. REALLY WANT IT!
How bad do you really want to be healthy, fit, lean, and in shape? Really want to live long and healthy while being in shape and strong. Really want the results you work for and they will come.
4. TAKE ACTION!
Identify who or what your reason is for wanting to improve your health, keep that in the forefront of your mind when you want to give up.
Do you have the desire and commitment in you to get
the results you want and to live super healthy while feeling good and looking good. What do you do with those dreams, visions, and wishes? Do you just wait for them or do something about it?
There is a funny thing inside our minds that crushes many men and women from ever doing anything in their life. It's called fear. Helping fear is resistance. Most of this is hogwash in our minds that we use to justify our lack of action. We fear the gym and the hard work. A lot of people are afraid to work out because they see movies or shows like The Biggest Loser where people throw up, pass out, and cramp up. They have the mindset that they are too weak and out of shape to get the work done. Fear and Resistance will keep you strapped to the failure seat for your whole life if you let it. You need to understand that this is real and it is holding you back. Address the fear, address the resistance, and fight it face to face. Take action! You are stronger, both mentally and physically than you think.
Did you know that 2 handfuls of cashews has the same chemical equivalence
as a dose of Prozac?
What is the secret to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle?
Attached you will find what I believe to be the 6 key factors to change your life and the associated attitudes to make these changes permanent.
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