We have more resources available to us than ever before. There’s a gym on every corner, thousands of diet books line the shelves and many organizations offer wellness programs to enhance your health at work. And still, there’s a big disconnect. People are sicker than ever before; medical claims are on the rise and chronic disease is taking the lives of too many.
Information is important, continued education is necessary, but the most vital step anyone can take to achieve health and happiness is action.
Nothing changes until something is implemented and new behaviors are created. With the amount of information available, how do you navigate and find what will serve you best in this life? Follow these five steps and you’ll move from overwhelm to owning your health; your body is going to love you for it!
- Big Picture: This is your opportunity to dream! What would your ideal life look like? Think big; no limitations of time, money, resources . . . just be open and write down everything you can think of. Maybe your ideal life includes daily meditation, connection with friends, a toned body or even less pain and disease. Dream big. Write it down.
- Take Inventory: How do your current life habits and environment support the outcomes you desire? If you want a toned body, are you prioritizing time for the activities that will allow you to achieve this? If better health or weight loss is a desire, are you stocking your kitchen with the right nourishment to get you there? This exercise does not provide you permission to beat yourself up. It’s to help you recognize where change is needed and proceed slowly, one decision at a time to build new habits and create a supportive environment.
- One Step at a Time: Behavior doesn’t change overnight. What’s the highest priority from your inventory list? Take that one item, write a specific goal for it and then follow up with two to three manageable, specific action steps that build on each other from one week to the next. When ready, repeat this step with a new action or a whole new priority, building on what you’ve already accomplished.
- Above All Else, Be Kind and True to YOU: There are a million and one reasons life pulls us away from what we need most. Schedule a 15-minute weekly appointment to check in on yourself. Have you stayed true to your goals and action steps? If not, what held you back, and how will you need to move forward? Taking this time to assess is necessary for consistency and life-long health. Be kind and true to yourself through the process. Learn from the choices and behaviors that might not be serving you well and know that you have everything you need to make a new choice, to shift behavior and live your ideal life.