I’m all for living a healthier lifestyle. I’ve come to realize I can’t do it all at once, because I’m trying to change too much too soon and it never works. I found if I pick one thing to focus on and practice it for a month, then I can add something else and it builds on the good habits I’ve already started.
Never eating bread or sugar again isn’t going to happen, even though I’ve tried. It’s the same with working out every single day. It seems I just can’t do it. What I learned is it’s all about small changes.
Here are 3 ways to become healthier without actually trying too hard:
Set Limits on Motionless Time
I love to turn on the TV when I get home and zone out. It’s one of my favorite ways to unwind after a busy. I like the fact I don’t have to think. I can be entertained. The next thing you know the night is gone and I’ve watched 3 or 4 hours of TV. Now I only watch one or two shows and turn off the TV.
The other thing I get hooked on is Facebook. Before you know it, the night is gone and all I’ve done is play on social media. Now I set a time limit and I found with the extra time I can enjoy my hobbies like painting, taking a bubble bath or reading. Why not turn off the TV an hour earlier a few nights a week or limit Social Media and play with your favorite hobby, read or take a hot bath to relax. You still get the TV fix or Social Media and self-care time too.
The 5 Minute Trick
I have found this trick works really well when I don’t want to do something. I tell myself, “You only have to do it for 5 minutes.” I set the timer and work on the project. When the timer rings I then decide to do another 5 minutes or something else. It takes all the pressure off and the self-nagging stops. One day the kitchen was beyond a mess. It looked like bomb went off and I have no one to blame because I’m the mess maker. The problem was I couldn’t clean the kitchen until the dishwasher was unloaded and I didn’t want to unload the dishwasher. I finally decided to set the timer for 5 minutes and go to work unloading the dishwasher. Would you believe it only took me 5 minutes to unload the whole dishwasher? Gosh, all the time and energy waisted procrastinating. Who would have known it only takes 5 minutes to unload the dishwasher. Have you ever done something like that?
Add Lemon or Grapefruit to Your Water
It was a hot summer day and I was tired of drinking plain water. I looked over at my fruit bowl and saw a grapefruit. I cut a few slices and added it to my water. Boy, did it taste good. If you aren’t adding lemon to your water by now, start! Not only does it improve flavor and gets me to drink more. Lemons and grapefruit are energizing, detoxifying for the liver and good for your skin. I even dropped a few pounds. I cut up a grapefruit or lemon and put them in a bowl in the fridge. Then I grab a slice and squeeze it into my water. Easy peezy!
All these subtle changes add up in the long run to a healthier you. Pick one that you are drawn to and do it for 30 days instead of trying to do all of them at once. Now you have set yourself up for success instead of failure, because you didn’t complete any of them. Your healthy will love you for it too.
By Jolen Philbrook, CBT, CHT