Congratulations! You've made the decision to either get healthy, healthier or work towards healing your body from some ailment. That is wonderful for you! But what do you do when your family, friends, social network or co-workers are not supportive? You tell them what your plans are and they think it is great. Yet, when they are around you, their unhealthy habits make it hard for you to stay on track.
This happens more than you think. It is hard to stay motivated to get healthier when you don't have a good support network. In fact, a Harvard study found that 92% of people who set New Year's goals never actually achieve them. When so many people fail at achieving goals, it is easy to see when you've made the decision to get healthy and you don't have a strong support team why the task is even more difficult.
There are 4 easy ways to make sure you achieve your healthy living goals.
#1 WRITE IT DOWN & BE SPECIFIC
I don't just mean the fact that you want to be healthier. Write down exactly what result you want to see in 3 months, 6 months and 9 months. For example, if you want to start exercising as part of your healthy living plan, create a calendar with the type of exercise you are going to do on the days you are going to do it. I use this tactic!
I have a paper calendar on my desk. Why paper? Because I have to look at it every time I am in my office, which is a lot! Every week I plan out the exercises I will be doing. Here is what it looks like:
Monday: Run 5 miles
Tuesday: Treadmill program & weights
Wednesday: Yoga at home via YouTube
Saturday: Mega-Former & Yoga
Now, if you haven't been exercising, your week will not look like mine. But let's say your plan on working out 5 days a week at the end of 3 months. That is very reasonable. In month 1, simply take 3 days each week and write down an exercise you commit to doing. It might be walking outside for 30 minutes. It might be going to the gym and using an elliptical machine.
In month 2, you may expand the activities to 4 days a week and maybe try something new. Maybe you look on YouTube for a free yoga or cardiovascular class. In month 3, you are ready to go to 5 days a week and maybe you add another type of exercise or you expand the amount of time you are doing the current exercises. Planning what you want the end-goal to be and then writing it down with specifics, will help you stay on track.
#2 FIND A SUPPORT GROUP
In the digital world, you can easily find like-minded people if your current family and friends aren't as supportive as you would have hoped. Facebook groups are great for this! You can join an group and ask questions, get advice, vent! What ever you need to do to stay on track. Plus, you can help others who are on the same journey and tell them what is working for you.
#3 MEAL PREP
Once you decide to get healthy, a big part of that is how and what to eat. Since you may be embarking on this journey and others do not want to change how they eat, meal-prepping is your answer to staying on track. I am mostly plant-based. I only eat meat and fish 3-4 times a week, usually only at dinner time. It is rare that I eat meat at breakfast or lunch.
My household wants to eat meat every night and for lunch. So I meal prep for everyone! Not just me! When I make lunches, I will cook chicken with veggies or make turkey meatballs with zucchini noodles or make a salad with chicken or shrimp for them. My lunches are salads with chickpeas and veggies or cooked veggies with quinoa or vegan lasagna or salads with lentils. By making different lunches on the weekend, it helps me stay on track with my healthy living goals.
This is also true for dinnertime. I may cook some dishes ahead of time, like stuffed peppers or chicken casserole for them to eat. But I will make my dinner without the meat. If I am cooking in the evening, then I make veggies for everyone but I may have a veggie burger with it while the rest of the house eats meat.
Now, sometimes you will be successful helping the rest of the house make small tweaks in their routine. For example, my husband now eats two veggies with his meat instead of a rice, pasta or potato. I've also been successful in serving one dinner per week where everyone is eating meatless. It just takes time for others to see how what your doing isn't so hard or scary. Then they may want to make a change for themselves. You just have to ask!
#4 DON'T GIVE UP WHEN YOU CAN'T FOLLOW YOUR ROUTINE
Life happens! There is going to be days or weeks when you weren't able to live your new normal. Vacations, holidays, business trips and family gatherings are just a few interruptions in your life that will impact your healthy goals. That is OK. We cannot be 100% all the time. The trick is to simply try where you can. For example, if you have reduced the amount of meat you eat and are at a family gathering, just eat the vegetables. When someone asks you why you aren't eating meat, here is your chance to inspire another with your journey.
The key will be when you get back to your normal routine, to pick up where you left off. It might take a couple of days but if you follow #1 above, you can map out your plan to get back on track. The worst thing you can do is just give up after you have been off your routine. Making any change in life takes time. Did you know it takes 21 days to create a habit? Good or bad! Be patient with yourself and you will be back to your healthy habits in no time.
I hope the 4 steps above inspire you to get healthy even when no one else wants to. If it does, let me know how it's going! I love hearing about your experiences when creating healthy habits.
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