Today I want to give you some tips on how effectively make a lifestyle change. I personally have been going through a few lifestyle changes so that is what inspired me to write this post. I also felt with so many people watching “What the Health” lately I should write this post to help you stay motivated if it is a healthy lifestyle you are trying to implement.
Making a lifestyle change is challenging, especially when you want to transform many things at once, like me. Lol Lifestyle changes are a journey and process that require support, preparation, and time. Once you’re ready to make a change, the difficult part is staying motivated and committed. Most people try to implement a lifestyle change in one step or overnight and it simply doesn’t happen like that. You have to make a plan that will prepare you for success, set small specific goals, and before you know it you start to grow, learn, evolve, and relish the results or just the journey (like me with yoga) of your new lifestyle change!
Even if the change is something like writing more, starting yoga, exercising, spending more time with family, or learning a new hobby I feel these tips still apply!
So you’ve decided to make a lifestyle change? I’m so happy you found the courage to do this! I hope these tips help along your journey!
- Mentally prepare. This is where you do your research, find inspiration, find a mentor, accountability partner, or support group. Remember lifestyle changes require support so even if you have to look online for a Facebook group or attend classes of some sort once a week, find your support. Research, research, research. Doing your research will reveal the truth about whatever it is you are about to embark on. Find out everything and write as many notes as you can about your new lifestyle change. When starting something new I always like to google “Things I wish I knew before” going vegan for example, most times very useful info comes up from people who have already tried what you are about to do.
- Mentally visualize yourself implementing your new change. What do you feel like? What do you look like? I’m a big fan of visualization. Go there, meditate, see, feel, touch, hear, taste, your new lifestyle change! If you’re not really into visualization you could write a letter to yourself about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what your main goal is. Being able to reflect on why you started will help on days you feel unmotivated.
- It also helps during the mental preparation stage to reprogram your mind and eliminate certain words or phrases from your vocabulary. Words are powerful and they could be the reason you fail or flourish. For example, what if Nikes slogan was “Just try it!” That really changes things. There is a difference between trying and doing. Are you going to do this or just try it? Be honest with yourself and don’t make excuses. If it’s a priority you will find the time to cook a meal, study, stretch, or do whatever lifestyle change you are trying to implement. If it’s not you will make excuses like “I don’t have time, I tried, or I will tomorrow.”
- Clean your space– In this phase you should tidy up, make your space fresh, and free it of clutter. Open windows, diffuse essential oils, get some house plants, play music, or burn incense. De-cluttering really helps you think clearly and a warm space can lighten your mood. Click here to read my post on Minimalism if you want to know more about the benefits of living with less. If it’s new eating habits you’re trying to cultivate maybe you clean out your refrigerator at this point and throw away the unhealthy foods you no longer want to eat, again baby steps lol. Speaking of space, it helps to find one to indulge in your craft, hobby, or lifestyle change. Maybe the space is in your apartment or home already, you just need to de-clutter but if not, parks, libraries, a gym, and community center classes are all great places to start.
3. Organize your schedule– Lifestyle changes take time as I stated, so tap into your time management skills here. Go back over your plan and specific goals and set a date to get things done by. Remember small steps, so make sure your goals are achievable and real. Devote a specific amount of time every day or week for whatever it is you want to do. You may have to say no to some invitations so that you can do what is a priority to you.
4. Just Do It– By now you have done research, made a plan, set goals, prepared mentally, you’ve cleaned your space, and changed your words so that you can thrive on your journey. Now take small steps to start implementing your new lifestyle. You don’t go to the gym on day one of working out trying to lift a 100 pound weight or run 10 miles. No you would start with 5-10 pound then 20 pounds, then 30 and so forth. Approach your change the same way. Most people give up lifestyle changes or “new year resolutions” because they try to do it ALL at once or do it ALL alone. They quickly get overwhelmed, and then just quit. You don’t start out anything as an expert so allow yourself time to grow, learn, and make mistakes on whatever journey you are about to embark on. If you regress, or miss a day, don’t beat yourself up, it is ok. Life goes on.
5. While you’re doing it– Ok so you’ve stared implementing your lifestyle now it is vital to stay consistent, and motivated! In the beginning you may have moments of temptation, weakness, doubt, fear, and/or laziness. This brings me to my next point which is journaling. I love journaling because there is no right or wrong way to do it. If you want to type, write on paper, write on an ipad, it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you document your journey and how you feel. This step may seem unimportant or like a waste but you never know how much you’re holding in until you put the pen to paper and just let it all out! If you’re not cool with a journal just write it all out then delete or throw it away afterwards so that the thoughts are out of your mind. Check in with your mentor or accountability partner, continue to do your research, and continue to fall more in love with your new lifestyle change. Find ways to motivate yourself, because ultimately the power to change is within YOU. No one can implement change for you except YOU. You can do this!
*Remember to be patient with yourself, encourage yourself, and do NOT give up. Know from the beginning going back, quitting, or giving up is not an option. Don’t do anything you aren’t prepared to do for the rest of your life. Lifestyle changes aren’t a phase, a diet, or a resolution; they are a journey, and an evolution! You can do this! I believe you can make the changes necessary for a more rewarding creative life!