How To Make Lifestyle Changes That Stick

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How To Make Lifestyle Changes That Stick

If your health is important to you then it is essential you make lifestyle changes that stick. It can feel difficult to achieve optimum health in today’s world. We’re often busy, running from place to place, making time for others and trying to survive. Even when we know what needs to be done we still find it hard to do them. Even though we know the dangerous consequences this could have on our health.

Our health isn’t solely down to our lifestyle. It is influenced by a number of things including our age, family history of illness, employment, education and living conditions. But have no doubts our lifestyle has a major impact on our health.

Yet so few people actually have a healthy lifestyle.

Some 15.4 million people in England have a longstanding illness, and this is set to rise.

Many of the diseases we now suffer from are linked to lifestyle and ageing.

In the UK, adults (19-64 years), consume on average 4.2 portions of fruit and vegetables per day and older adults (65+ years) consume 4.4 portions.

70% of UK adults (19-64) and 63% of older adults fail to meet the ‘five-a-day’ recommendation.

Average saturated fat intakes exceed the recommended level of no more than 11% of food energy. Mean saturated fat intake (adults 19-64) is currently around 12.8 per cent of food energy.

Average intakes of trans fatty acids provide 0.7-0.9% of food energy, well within the recommendation of no more than 2% food energy.

So, are you ready to admit that you have made mistakes in the way you’ve lived?

Bad diet.
Not enough exercise.
Always highly stressed.
Drink too much alcohol, smoke to many cigarettes.
Burning the midnight oil at the expense of sleep.

Maybe you have woken up to the realization that your health is being affected by the way you live and you need to make lifestyle changes that stick.

Well you’re right to. People who smoke, don’t exercise, eat poorly, and drink alcohol are three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and nearly four times more likely to die of cancer, according to a study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

There are no doubts that your lifestyle plays an important role in your health and it’s essential for you to make lifestyle changes that stick.

If you are ready to take responsibility for your health then you are going to have to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Change doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but the benefits of committing to a healthier lifestyle is worth the effort.

Your motivation will get you started. The difficult part is committing and following through.

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.

You want to change. Indeed, you may need to make this as a critical life change. Still, you get in your own way and stumble. Maybe you know what you got to do, but just don’t seem able to do it.

You know the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle are immense.

• Improving your health.
• Gaining energy and feeling more fit.
• Improving your physical health.
• Gaining a positive outlook and finding more enjoyment in your life.
• Being a role model for your family and friends.

Check out this post called Why is a Healthy Lifestyle Important.

The problem many people face is that ditching bad habits and adopting good ones isn’t easy.

It’s not enough knowing that by making lifestyle changes you will improve your health, although it should. Yet for most this alone isn’t a strong enough motivator. Crazy maybe, but alas true.

So, what is it that can make you make lifestyle changes that stick?

It takes some soul-searching finding your bigger picture.

You need to find the motivation to finally start changing — and then to keep going when the changes inevitably get tough.

What will improving your health through lifestyle change mean to you?

We all want to be healthier, but why?

As Aristotle wrote, the first and foremost ultimate goal of all living humans is this feeling of well-being, which must be the primary focus if we are to achieve any of our health-related goals.

He advocates that happiness is the central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. A genuinely happy life required the fulfillment of a broad range of conditions, including physical as well as mental well-being.

What is that end or goal for which we should direct all of our activities?

Assessing and working on the factors affecting motivation to change are fundamental in order to facilitate behavioral change.

Motivation is a dynamic process involving progress through a series of five stages which are as follows:

(1) Precontemplation: the subject has never thought to change their unhealthy lifestyle;
(2) Contemplation: subject is thinking about a possible change because they are aware of their unhealthy habits;
(3) Determination: subject has already decided to change their lifestyle and is planning to change;
(4) Action: subject is doing something to change their lifestyle;
(5) Maintenance: subject in this stage commits to maintaining over time the stabilization of the change.

Health is the condition of wisdom, and the sign is cheerfulness, — an open and noble temper. Ralph Waldo Emerson

To make lifestyle changes stick you have to see them as important.

So, think of this.

The main benefit of making lifestyle changes that stick is good health.

Good health means you can enjoy more aspects of your life in a more fulfilling way. It is not just about trying to avoid one illness after another, or trying to just not feel as bad as you normally do. It is about feeling and being well physically, mentally and socially.

It is about making specific choices that give you the opportunity to feel your best for as long as you can. Living a healthy lifestyle is about wanting the best out of life, for both you and your loved ones. Being able to be the best you can be. In business. In relationships. In life.

Good health allows you to be the parent you want to be, grandparent or whatever role you want to play.

It’s about having a body that can support you well into your old age.

So, determine why do you really want to implement a healthy lifestyle? What’s really the driving force behind this?

Living a healthy lifestyle will enable you to achieve so much. Make sure you do by making lifestyle changes that stick.

photo credit: maher.kotob DSC08174 via photopin (license)

Healthy Lifestyle Plan
About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.

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