These 10 easy ways to make your health a priority will help you get on track and stay motivated while you create the healthy lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
Spoiler Alert: the secret no one tells you about long term weight loss is that losing the weight is the easy part. The real work? That comes in the day to day habits and routines created to maintain the weight loss long term. Fortunately, over the last 15 years I’ve come up with a few simple and practical strategies that have made living a healthy lifestyle not only fun but also delicious. Here are my 10 top tips for making your health a priority.
Schedule your workouts in advance and put them in your calendar.
I don’t know about you, but if it’s not on my calendar, it’s not happening. It might be nice to think, “I’ll get up every morning and work out,” but the reality is I might stay up a bit late and forget my plan to get up early if it’s not down in writing. Putting exercise in your calendar like you would a doctor’s appointment sends a signal to your brain that this is a priority for you – and you’re more likely to stick with it.
Plan out your meals ahead of time.
If you’ve ever rushed out the door in the morning, forgetting breakfast, and found yourself at the drive-thru, then you know – planning ahead makes a difference. Figure out if Sunday meal prep works for you, or a nightly plan for the next day.
Make it easy on yourself by having healthy, prepared, grab-n-go meals and snacks. Even if you’re working at home, you’re more likely to stay on track if you can quickly grab the container of cucumbers and hummus – trust me on this one.
BJ Fogg, the author of Tiny Habits, tells us that when creating new habits, starting microscopically small and attaching your new routine to things you already do, will make a huge impact. Try adding 1 minute to your walk every day. Or do 3 pushups after you go to the bathroom. Drink a glass of water while the coffee brews. Small changes done regularly add up to big results.
Seek inspiration from around the world by incorporating international flavors and ingredients into your menu.
How many days in a row can you eat grilled chicken and broccoli? I’m going to guess not many. There are so many incredibly tasty and healthy recipes that will make you feel excited and inspired to eat well every day, like my Vietnamese Beef Salad, Chicken Tawook Fattoush Salad, or Caribbean Fish Soup. Eat the rainbow from around the world and healthy eating will never get boring.
Find exercise you ENJOY or else you won’t keep doing it.
Nothing is worse than hating your workout routine. Spice it up. Try new things until you find something you love. Boxing, yoga, HIIT, hip hop dance, skiing, biking, basketball…options are endless and none require a gym membership.
Take time to figure out your WHY.
HINT: Skinny jeans aren’t enough of a motivation – especially now that we all can literally live in pajama bottoms. Do you want to feel good in your own skin? Feel strong? Stop feeling bad after eating? Ask yourself why you really want to make this change and then remind yourself often.
Accountability partners make it fun and keep you showing up every day.
It’s a lot harder to say no to your BFF than your alarm clock. Invite someone along on your healthy journey and make it FUN. Maybe a friendly competition will help both of you stay on track. Or you can Zoom workout together or cheer each other on through mobile apps.
Set 30-day SMART goals to help you stay motivated along the way.
I was used to making SMART goals for my business, but making them for my health was a game changer! SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Creating a healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process, and progress might feel slow. Setting up incremental goals will help you stay excited.
Cook new recipes every week so that you don’t get bored with healthy eating.
Make it a new goal to add one new recipe a week (remember, start small!) and work your way up. It can be a High Protein Blueberry Kale Smoothie for breakfast, protein-packed Lebanese Quinoa Salad for lunch, or simple Sheet Pan Salmon with Tomatoes and Olives. You don’t have to start all at once!
Celebrate your wins publicly – helps you stay accountable!
There’s a lot of negativity on social media these days – so share some wins that everyone can support! Have you tried new recipes with vegetables that your kids will eat? Is this your second week in a row of working out every day? Guaranteed there will be others to cheer you on, and maybe you’ll inspire some too!
What are YOUR best tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle? How do you make your health a priority? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
Your smoothie is waiting.