All the best intentions in the world won’t help you enjoy a healthy life unless you can make lifestyle changes stick. One day, I took a long, hard look in the mirror. What I saw made me realize if I didn’t begin focusing on my own health, there would be no future. I knew I had to change my life drastically if I was going to have the time to enjoy my grandchildren and get the chance to see them all develop, as well as any new members of my family.
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs
We are all going to get older, aging is something you simply can’t avoid. Yet more importantly I do strongly believe that you can slow the aging process. You don’t have to accept that aging is synonymous with declining health but you do have to learn how to make lifestyle changes stick.
The right lifestyle interventions can eliminate, prevent, delay, or even reverse aging and age-related diseases. You have to take charge of your own health, become better informed, and implement lifestyle changes.
By taking responsibility for your own health now, you can maintain a high quality of life as you age. Every day the lifestyle choices you make—including the types of foods you eat, the time you put aside to exercise, and the types of exercise you choose—are affecting your health right now, and will affect the way you live in the future.
Are you someone who needs to get your lifestyle sorted? Look at these ‘conditions’ and determine how many relate to you:
- I often feel blue or depressed.
- I feel lethargic midmorning or mid-afternoon.
- I often experience an overall feeling of fatigue.
- I wake up frequently during the night and experience poor sleep.
- I am not accomplishing as much as I used to at work.
- I have difficulty with sexual arousal, low libido, less intense orgasm, or poor erections.
- I am prone to irritability/emotional swings/anxiety.
- I lack stamina.
- I have slow recovery time after exercise.
- I train as hard as I used to, but don’t get the same results.
If at least five of these apply to you then indeed it should be a priority for you to make major adaptations to your lifestyle.
You need to make changes, have no doubts. In truth it’s not so hard. If you:
- Eat healthily
- Exercise sufficiently
- Use your mind effectively, controlling your ‘self talk’
- Limit the impact of stress
- Have your life in balance
- Get enough hours sleep
- Yet many of you are probably aware of the importance of each of these, yet you’ve been unable to stick to any of the things that will bring these about for long. For a time you’ve kept to a healthy diet, exercise regime, meditating at night, going to bed early, and refused to allow your work to take over your life, but eventually you went back to the bad habits.
That one word I’ve just used is the key to personal change – habits.
Almost everything you do is determined by your habits.
A habit is defined as ‘an automatic or conditioned response to stimuli.’
From the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed at night, your habits largely control and dictate everything you do.
Your life will change, dramatically and so much for the better if you develop good habits where you make lifestyle changes stick.
It requires tremendous discipline to develop new habits of thought and behaviour. But once you have them firmly locked into place they enable you to accomplish vastly more, with less effort, than ever before. You just have to make sure when you first implement them you accept it as a priority to maintain this change and fight your way through every time you question whether to break it or not. It simply comes down to a test of your willpower. And this power comes from within very much based on how important the end result is to you.
Accepting the fact that you are a result of what you repeatedly do, and if you want to improve then you need to create the right habits.
A very simple but awesome process to adopt is as follows:
- What is the bad habit you want to rid yourself of?
- What is the good habit you want to adopt?
- What are all the reasons you want to make this change, list for yourself every benefit?
- What is usually the trigger that initiates the behaviour of this bad habit?
- What would be the best way to ensure the good habit when this trigger occurs? (forearmed is forewarned)
- How will you reward yourself every month for sticking to the good habit?
Your health matters so it is crucial you make the effort to establish good habits and make lifestyle changes stick. What one habit that if you changed would most improve your life? Let me know in the comments.