(This blog/article was lovingly created by Emma Tillbrook, a health and life coach from UK who was once a volunteer at Wellnessland)
Do you dream of being healthier but can’t quite seem to change your behaviour to do so? Or perhaps you’ve tried in the past to be healthier but it didn’t work or only lasted for a week or so?
Well you’re not alone. Changing your behaviour, especially when you may have been behaving this way for many years, can be really difficult. But you’re in luck! Below we have a few top tips on how to change your behaviour to make lasting beneficial changes.
This works better if you go through and create your dream health vision first as it can remind you or perhaps you can improve on what your goals have been in the past.
Creating your dream health vision and choosing your motivating ‘Why’.
- First think of what health goals are important to you. What is your dream health vision? Make it one that’s realistic to achieve in the time you want to. Take a minute or so to really go into detail on this. You could write your ideas down or really visualise yourself being at optimal health and the differences in the life you would be living.
- Next think of the changes you would need to to make in your life to achieve your dream goal. Identify which potentially destructive habits need to change and what beneficial habits you could start doing.
Start with just deciding on the most important 1-3 small changes so as to not overwhelm yourself. Pick little steps that will bring you gradually closer to your health goal that you can carry out rather than huge, drastic changes that would overwhelm you.
Examples of these could be ‘eating 1-2 more portions of fruit and/or vegetables each day’, ‘walk 10,000 steps a day’ and ‘Lower my intake of red or processed meat to once a week’. As opposed to ‘start running and aim to run 20 miles after a month’!
- Now focus on your WHY. Why do you want to achieve your health goal?
Keep asking yourself ‘why is this important to me?’ after each answer and do this a few times until you feel you’ve got to a truly important reason ‘why’ for you that will motivate you to take action.
5 ways to make your success inevitable.
Think about what kind of support you may need to follow through on making these lifestyle changes. Perhaps it’s having someone who you can talk to when feeling demotivated to put you back on track.
2. Planning in advance
If you’re planning to make dietary changes pre planning can make later times easier and hassle free. Consider pre planning meals and cutting up vegetables on one day a week so that when it comes to cooking something you can create something easily e.g. pre cut vegetables so that you can just heat them up quickly with tinned tomatoes and coconut milk.
3. Book time aside in your calendar (and commit to it!)
If you are someone who likes structure and organisation, then think about block time in your calendar of lifestyle changes. For example, if decide you want to cook for yourself twice a week then put time aside on two days and add these appointments into your calendar. Or set reminders to perhaps go for a walk at lunchtime or on your lunch hour at work.
Make sure that you don’t change these plans for anyone and see them the same as you would if you had made an appointment with somebody else.
4. Inspire yourself with motivational quotes.
Consider putting up motivational quotes or images around your house and workplace to serve as reminders for your goals. Make sure these are placed where you will see them, e.g. on the mirror, fridge, bedside table, inside your front door so it’s the thing you see as you leave the house or you could even set a new screensaver on your phone or laptop.
5. Choose something to remind you of your goals.
Choose an object or a favourite sensory thing to associate you with reminding you about your WHY- eg favourite smell, your favourite colour, a piece of jewellery you wear, flowers.
Every time you see this object or experience the sensory choice you can use it to remind you of your goals. Let’s say you chose a ring- every time you look at it you can think of why you are wanting to make these changes.