The Path To Making Long Lasting Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Fatima Shaikh
October 13, 2022

A lot of us go through the “I’m gonna change my lifestyle starting this year” route at the start of every year. However, that plan for a change soon becomes a distant memory as soon as February or March rolls around and we get swamped with our work lives.  That’s because there’s more to adhering to healthy lifestyle choices than a moment’s worth of inspiration. While you can't shift things with just that small burst of inspiration, you can certainly start there.

Making long-lasting lifestyle changes and sticking to them requires constant effort, perseverance, patience, and time. According to psychologists, it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to become a daily task, but the reality is that selecting and keeping a new lifestyle change depends on each person. Because of this, it's crucial to plan your lifestyle changes to fit into your schedule and to give yourself some time while you settle into a routine that suits you. Learning how to make, shift and adapt to long-lasting lifestyle changes can assist you in creating a plan that works for you.

Six Techniques That Help You Buckle Up For A Lifestyle Changing Journey

The first pre-step to begin on this journey is evaluating your lifestyle and determining where and why you need to make these changes. Common lifestyle changes for most people include dietary changes, physical health changes, financial changes, better stress management, etc. You can begin this journey by following the steps below:  

Set Clear Intentions

The long-term result of any lifestyle change is influenced by your intention. Lifestyle changes based on health and wellness-related intents are the most common and are more likely to be successful. For instance, if your goal is to reduce your weight for an event in a very short amount of time without undermining your health, your chances won't be that high. However, if your goal is to improve your physical wellness, address a health issue, or improve your well-being in general, you’re more likely to follow through until the very end. Set your motivation for lasting changes and make an effort to tie it to your overall health and well-being.

Practice The Visualization Technique

Do you know what the best Olympic athletes do when they’re practicing winning? They visualize winning the gold medal. Practicing visualization techniques can help you follow through with healthy lifestyle changes by envisioning the end result. Close your eyes and picture yourself after you’ve achieved your lifestyle goals. Whether it’s reaching your ideal weight or succeeding in your exercise regimen, visualize completing it and think about how you feel when you do. Encourage yourself to envision making the required adjustments and as a result, your brain becomes more adaptable in the future.

Bridge The Gap Between Mental Health and Physical Health

Making sustainable adjustments to your everyday routine is part of introducing long-term healthy lifestyle changes. But there’s often a mental health element present. Some people look for a workout regimen or weight management program because they think that it might improve their mental health.

Or maybe they want to learn healthy nutritional plans because being overweight has made them feel less confident. Similarly, some people want to improve their sleeping habits because being sleep-deprived brings anxiety and stress to their lives. Seeing behind the intent of your lifestyle changes can help you make a decision that influences both your physical and mental health.

Follow Mindful Daily Motivation

It won't always be easy to stick to the lifestyle change you introduce in your routine, whether it’s a regular sleeping schedule, a fiber-based nutrition plan, or a workout regime; which is why maintaining your motivation by establishing a daily routine that supports your goals is another strategy to keep you focused.

Practicing meditation in the morning is a great way to reduce the stress of a lifestyle shift. You can also maintain your daily motivation by listening to healthy lifestyle podcasts every day, subscribing to an exercise magazine, or following a blog about healthy food. It gets simpler to form and follow a new healthy habit the more you incorporate healthy living into your everyday routine.

Going Slow and Steady

If you want to make lasting lifestyle changes, you’ll have to avoid falling for any plans or regimes that promise impossible results in a week or a month. While long-term lifestyle changes feel daunting to commit to, they will feel doable if you follow them at a slow and steady pace. Avoid expecting impossible outcomes or implementing too many changes at once.

Since change is a dynamic process, it's necessary to implement it slowly and see how your routine reacts to it. For instance, start by increasing your intake of water and vegetables. Stick to this habit for a month and introduce another dietary change. As you implement new changes, the transition will feel natural because your adjustments were gradual.

Have A Self-Reflection Session

How will you know whether the change you're implementing is benefiting you if you don't stop and process all the progress you have made? Making healthy habits last requires some evaluation and self-reflection on your part.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, being curious about why you do things, and considering alternative habits for the ones that don't suit you are essential for any change to be long-lasting. Paying attention to why you needed that change, how you approached it, what you did to maintain it, and how it affected you can help you see whether that change proved beneficial for you and if you want to keep at it long-term.

Finding The Intent Behind Your “Why”

The single best thing you can do to make a lifestyle change easier to follow is to discover your “why.” Finding your core goals can help you stay inspired and upbeat throughout the journey. While creating these goals, concentrate on your overall health and lifestyle. Finding your deepest why will help you create habits that last, whether you choose to stay motivated by numbers like weight loss or the amount you can save in a month, or by hobbies and daily activities like being able to work out with friends or spending quality time by yourself.

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