Healthy Living: 3 Steps to Get Started
“I just want to be healthier.”
How many times have you uttered those words?
Nearly every time I meet with a new client they will tell me those exact words, “I just want to be healthier.”
I doubt you’d be able to find many people who don’t want to be healthier, but wanting to be healthier and actually being healthier are two different things.
To help you live a healthier lifestyle check out these 3 steps for getting started.
Step 1 – Craft a Vision of Your Healthy Life
Have you ever thought about what healthy living actually looks like for you?
Spending a few minutes writing down a vision for your healthy lifestyle can go a long ways in helping you actually live this way – it is difficult to live healthier if you don’t really know exactly what this looks like.
To craft this healthy living vision answer the following questions:
- What am I doing to stay fit each week?
- What am I eating on a daily basis to ensure I get adequate nutrients and maintain a healthy body?
- How do I navigate obstacles to healthy living?
- How am I de-stressing each day?
- What activities am I doing to ensure my happiness?
The more details you can include, the better. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll live exactly like this right away, but it should give you something to shoot for and at least get you thinking about how you can live healthier.
Step 2 – Establish a Baseline
So, you have a vision of your healthy lifestyle, what should you do next?
Evaluating where you are currently at and establishing a baseline is the next step towards healthy living.
By establishing a baseline for yourself you’ll be able to figure out the most important 1st step you should take to become healthier.
Not only that, but you’ll be able to see the progress you have made over time – this can be a great motivator to help you continue your healthy lifestyle.
To help you establish a baseline look at these areas:
- Fitness. What kind of shape are you currently in? Can you do a push up or pull up? Can you jog a mile? What is your percent body fat? How much do you weigh? How do your clothes fit? Take inventory of your current fitness level. You can test some things on your own, but other tests can be done at a fitness center or an exercise science lab. How many test you choose is up to you, but it’s important to establish some sort of baseline.
- Nutrition. Start a food journal to take a look at what you are eating and how much you are eating. You can also make a list of your top 3-4 weaknesses in this area. Do you struggle most with eating sweets, restaurant eating, eating too much, eating the right foods, or something else entirely? Find your biggest weaknesses so you’ll know where to start in your quest for a healthier life.
- Sleep. How many hours are you sleeping each night? If you are having problems sleeping enough can you find ways that you are wasting your time each day? Could a lack of productivity be the cause of your lackluster sleep amount? Sleep is important, so figuring out ways to get enough (6+ hours each night) will be worth your time.
- Stress. How do you manage stress? Do you find yourself stressed out each day? What activities are you using to help you manage your stress? What is the cause of your stress? I can guarantee that a healthy and happy life is not one where you are constantly stressed out – think of some ways you can manage your stress.
Step 3 – Decide on 1 Habit to Change
After crafting your healthy living vision and establishing your baseline you’ll be ready for step 3 – deciding on 1 habit to change.
I don’t know the exact number of habits you have, but I do know that establishing healthier ones will be critical to your success in living healthier.
Pick 1 habit you can start today to help you live healthier – start your day with exercise, eat veggies every day, take a nap each day to reduces stress, meditate daily, drink 8+ glasses of water per day, sleep 7+ hours each night, eat more protein, or choose something different entirely.
There are so many good habits that will help you become healthier, but the key is choosing 1 habit at a time. After going through steps 1 and 2 you should have plenty of ideas for how you can live healthier – choose 1 habit based on your current struggles and weaknesses and go from there.
Healthy living isn’t something you achieve, it is an ongoing process, but going through these three steps will get you on the right track!