If you are reading this article then I have to assume you want to begin to lead a healthier lifestyle. It can be hard knowing where to start and it might seem overwhelming or impossible at first. For many of us, taking the first step towards becoming healthier is often the biggest hurdle because life always seems to get in the way.
At Healthy Steps Nutrition we believe that no matter what your health & lifestyle goal, the starting point should be the same; create small achievable habits that will add up to BIG results throughout the year!
Through this blog post, I’m going to provide five powerful steps so that by the end of 2023, you’ll be living your best life!
What Does It Mean To Live A Healthier Lifestyle?
To live a healthier lifestyle means you are committed to making changes to your current habits that will set you up to live a longer healthier life. After all, the longer we live the more time we get to spend doing the things we like and spending time with loved ones. In my mind life is a party that I don’t want to stop. I hope you all feel the same way!
Healthy Steps Nutrition guides clients to use a holistic framework when looking at what it takes to “be healthy” and live a healthy lifestyle. We take into consideration…
Stress Management –
A positive attitude and mindset is where it’s at in addition to looking for ways specific to your personality that help you manage stress.
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night eliminates sleep deprivation and sets you up for proper recovery from exercise and daily stress
Support System –
Identifying who the 5 closest people are to you and figuring out if you can rely on them for support is key.
Evaluate if your daily actions lend towards creating a healthy lifestyle.
People should be exercising at least 30 minutes per day 5x per week.
The goal should be to aim for whole foods with a balanced plate at each meal and snack. Limiting the amount of added sugar consumed on a daily basis is key.
By using this framework to help shape your overall health, you will eventually reach your goal of living a healthy lifestyle and your best life! Taking things one step at a time is extremely important rather than jumping into taking action on all these tips at once. Doing this will lead to failure because you not be successful.
A Step By Step Guide To Living A Healthier Lifestyle
Because there are so many ways to get started living a healthy life, it’s extremely important to begin with one small healthy habit at a time.
James Clear says “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”, and we couldn’t agree more!
So let’s get right to the start of healthy living!
Step #1 - Evaluate Your Habits And Determine Your Baseline
In order for use to know where we want to go, we have to determine where we are starting from. You are encouraged to ask yourself these questions about your current habits and lifestyle.
Do you have healthy eating habits by consistently eating a balanced meal every 3-4 hours?
Do you drink 60 – 80 oz of water each day or do you start you morning off with 2 Slim Jims and a Bang?
Do you make meal choices out of accessibility rather than nutritional value and the support of good health?
Do you get 7-8 hours of sleep per night?
Do you get regular exercise? It doesn’t have to be in a gym but daily movement 30 minutes per day would be the goal.
How many friends you are close with are looking to make some health changes too or is the main focus eating a whole Jacks pizza washed down with 15 beers on a Friday night?
Is there an activity or routine you use to help you deal with stress?
After you ask yourself these questions and come up with answers, you are going to pick one thing to improve in each of these categories to begin to make small changes that will move you towards better health.
Step #2 - Set Goals And Action Steps
In addition to determining an actual goal you would like to work on, you are also going to create an action item list that will help you get started with each goal. Here are some examples for you…
Nutrition Goal: begin drinking 4o oz of water per day
Action Items: order a water bottle off of Amazon, set an alarm on my phone every night for 9pm to fill up my bottle for the next day
Fitness Goal: Start walking for physical activity every Monday for 30min
Action Item: Put a calendar notice & alarm on my every Monday to walk at my selected time, dust off the treadmill because it’s 30 degrees outside, move the treadmill in front of the TV
Wellness Goal: Get enough sleep
Action Item: Set an alarm each night to get ready for bed & set my room up for a healthy sleep environment
Step #3 - Learn How To Fuel Your Body
Nutrition is at the bottom of the health pyramid, meaning it’s the foundation of everything we do. Having an understanding of what a healthy diet is and what eating healthy meals looks like is key to success.
We suggest using the plate method to learn how to eat a balanced meal like we referenced above.
When using the plate method our top 3 tips are as follows:
Load up on WHOLE FOODS first. Yes! This means eat veggies before all else. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide fiber, minerals and vitamins that your body needs
Watch out for added sugar! Many processed foods have hidden sugars. Beware of these foods that are marketed as being healthy snacks and choices. It’s surprising how much added sugar can be found in sauces and condiments. Be sure to check the food labels for added sugar vs. sugar.
Avoid the processed junk! Junk food is food that has very little to no nutritional value. You get nothing from these foods apart from unwanted fat and sugar. No food is off limits, however loading up on the healthy foods before you eat the junk foods will ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to fuel your body.
Step #4 - Find An Accountability Partner
There’s something to be said for the power of accountability and the accountability statistics are staggering with you being 95% more likely to complete your goal if you have someone to be accountable to. Having an accountability partner can be a tremendous help when it comes to staying motivated to reach your goals. Your accountability partner will be there to encourage and remind you of why it’s important to achieve your goals and keep pushing forward. Providing valuable feedback, helping you stay on track by setting deadlines and checking in on your progress is part of the job. They can also help keep you accountable for your actions by reminding you of any mistakes or missed goals, and encourage you to stay focused and on the right path to success.
Accountability Partners help with the following…
- Accelerate your performance by helping you set goals
- Help you recognize success and measure progress by setting small milestones along the way
- Keep you engaged by checking in on your progress & offering support when you become distracted
- Keep you responsible to your forward progress & are honest with you even when it’s uncomfortable.
- Help validate your thoughts and ideas by silencing that inner voice that keeps telling you “this is too hard.”
Remember the word “partner” because as much as this person is there to help you, you are there to help them as well. Any partnership requires a give and take with equal responsibility from each person.
3 Tips To Help Make An Accountability Relationship Work:
- Know what you need. Accountability is tied to an outcome. If we don’t know our desired outcome we don’t know where we are going.
- Set up a structure for meeting. Predetermined accountability sessions are key to both parties success. Don’t loosely put these in place. Set them up on the first meeting and make sure they are clear to both parties.
- Make the partnership a priority. It’s not just about you! Make sure to honor your structured set up. Showing up late and blowing of meetings or communication is a sign of disrespect.
Step #5 - Create A Nutrition, Fitness and Lifestyle Challenge For Yourself & Your Partner
Commit with your partner to make a change! Schedule a meet up and together on your Google Calendars create a bulleted list of 3 healthy habits to complete each week; one in each category of nutrition, fitness and wellness/lifestyle.
Habits can be the same each week or they can be different. Every Saturday or Sunday, meet up again, check each others progress and set goals for the new week.
We will give you week one as a bonus:
Nutrition Habit – Clean out your pantry and meal prep! We have a ton of healthy recipes on our website you can use!
Fitness Habit – Walk 3 days out of the week for 30min, or if you are a gym goer, hit the gym at least 3 times.
Wellness/Lifestyle – Go to bed before 11:00pm at least three nights the first week.
Action takers win! The difference between the people who will see results from reading this article and the ones who will not all comes down to being an action taker. How badly you want to live a longer life will influence if you challenge yourself or if you don’t.
Remember that a healthy lifestyle helps you avoid health problems such as cardiovascular disease, immune system problems, high blood pressure, sleep problems, certain cancers and much more!
We love to see action and change so send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you decide to take action on this article!