Have you ever gotten a couple of weeks into a health goal and realized: “Hey, this is so much harder than I thought?” While we all want to see instant results, overwhelming ourselves with tons of ideas and choices will not keep us motivated. However, there are a few small habits that can equal immense changes.
For maximum results, try these tips:
1. Drink more water. The benefits of adding this habit alone should not be overlooked. It flushes the toxins from your system, replenishes your cells, increases your energy and in every way helps your body work more efficiently.
2. Take more steps. In other words, move more. If you are taking less than 3,000 steps a day, you are sedentary. Get a Fitbit or pedometer and get off your butt. Get up and walk around, making sure you take frequent breaks at work. Park a little farther away from the store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you challenge a friend or make a game of it, it makes it much more fun.
3. Turn off the TV. You don’t need it! Between cable, Netflix and social media, Americans waste an amazing amount of time. Use a DVR for the one show you can’t miss or schedule a family movie night and get moving!
4. Change your environment. Spend more time around people with similar goals. Don’t bring foods home you know aren’t good for you. Make an appointment to meet a friend or trainer at the gym. Avoid places that tend to trigger bad habits.
5. Take the time to be prepared. Put your workout clothes in front of your door. Make healthy food in advance. Do what you can to remove barriers and obstacles.
6. Start small. Pick one or two habits to change at a time, and start with what you can do. Try doing 10 minutes of cardio a day instead of 45. Read one page of a book you’ve trying to get to instead of a chapter. (And above all, celebrate the small stuff.)
7. Wake up earlier. You can accomplish so much more in the morning versus watching TV or playing video games late into the night. You will have better energy, better focus and make better choices.
8. Set a schedule … and follow it! Book your workouts like a doctor’s appointment. Better yet, go the same time of day every time. Create habits through scheduling your time on purpose. Be sure to make your goals and health a priority.
Consistency is the key! When you make small changes and do them over time, it creates not just a habit, but a lifestyle. The result is the sum of all your efforts.