Strategies To Change Your Life and Become Healthier

Woman About to Run during Golden Hour
We all dream of a life in which we are more fit and effective: We wake up sooner, we eat healthier, we work out more often and get more things done during the day without suffering from any chronic pains or bad health conditions. But few of you actually live it.
You do what you can to make that vision a reality: you follow diets, you embrace exercise plans, but after a brief period of time you find yourself falling back into the exact same negative routines.
Change is difficult, and no matter how much you hate to admit it, you enjoy the comfort those old habits offer you; you love how they do not require any efforts or additional energy. But later the guilt comes in. You start feeling ashamed of the bad decisions you made. You lose hope and maybe you even attempt to convince yourself that it is too late for you and that you’re simply not meant for the lifestyle you want. Old habits are hard to kill.
How to get over that? It all begins in your head. Rewiring your brain to shift the attention from hating the negative patterns to creating new wholesome ones is the ultimate way to drastic change. To have a healthy lifestyle, you must first develop the right mindset for it.
Luckily, we gathered for you now 4 strategies that are guaranteed to teach you exactly how to master your mindset and create a change that lasts forever.
Start small, REALLY small. Just. Get. Started. The effect of taking baby steps will compound and cause you to take bigger ones. Be disciplined and stay determined. Do it anyways, even on the days you do not feel like it. And what is one of the best ways to get moving? That’s by following The 5 Second Rule:
” If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the thought (… ) Because when you physically move, your mind begins to build new habits (… ) You’re in the act of constructing new customs and erasing existing ones.”
This principle, stated by the author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins, is a form of metacognition that lets you overcome the tricks your brain plays to distract you, by turning on your prefrontal cortex. The neuroscientist and researcher at Yale University Amy Arnsten clarifies that the 5-4-3-2-1-Go! Countdown activates that brain region responsible of decision-making and planning. It matters also that you set goals for yourself on the long run. These goals will allow you to create sustainable habits.
Habits are formed via a really simple, yet very strong series of activities Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg calls: The Loop. In his book The Power Of Habit, he states:
” First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your mind figure out if this particular loop is Worth remembering for the future. With time, this loop becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a strong sense of craving and anticipation emerges.”
This means that if you would like to change your habits, you have to follow the exact principles that made them. First, start by identifying the negative habits you have. Identify the cause behind them, the behaviour that follows and the reward you are feeling. Then, try to implement a healthy behavior to which you accord the same trigger and reward. Remind yourself more often of the reward and repeat this loop until the old habit is erased and the wholesome one becomes ingrained in your routine. And last, be patient.
Keep an eye on the progress you are making. Use a calendar and mark the days you follow the nutritious habits, this trick will not just inform you on the days you’re making a progress, it will also motivate you not the break the chain. But in case you miss a day in which you don’t perform the healthy habit, don’t quit. Missing one day will have no effect on your long term results.
Enjoy The Process. We all know that change is hard, but by rewarding yourself and observing each small victory, you’ll find yourself prone to stick with the healthy behavior. Acknowledge your accomplishments and find happiness from the healthy lifestyle you are now living, for it is the ultimate way to make it last forever. And bear in mind, it’s never too late to live the life you desire!
I’m Migo Salinas and when I was 54, I was so out of shape that I really suffered heart failure, fortunately I survived! I decided to make the most of my second chance learning precisely what I was doing (and not doing) that led to my poor health. I consistently applied what I was learning and now at age 59 I look and feel better than I did even back in my 30’s and 40’s.

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