Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Updated: Sep 20

Is there something you would like to change about your life today? How about having more energy? Losing weight? Eating more nutritious foods? Having a stronger and more flexible body? Spending more time outside in nature? Whatever it is you’ve been thinking about changing, why not start today?

Personally, when I hear people talk about crash dieting, or another New Year’s resolution they’re embarking on, I tend to cringe. It’s because there is such a low success rate when you try to drastically change your life overnight. If you have the willpower and discipline of a Kung Fu master or Buddhist monk, then what I have to share with you may not be of benefit. But for us less-disciplined I think you really need to carefully plan out your strategy for success.

I think the process starts, quite simply, with asking the Why question. Why do I want to make this change in my life? If you don’t have a compelling reason to motivate the change, then you’re probably not going to last long. And the reason can’t be because somebody else wants you to change. When you do it for somebody else you will eventually fail and become resentful. Do it for you.

Once you’ve established a strong desire to change then you go about starting the process. I think the best way to initiate change is through small, gradual steps. For example, let’s say you want to eat more plant-based foods and back off on the heavy meats and dairy. You might be thinking: “Why the heck would I want to do that?” Well, meat and dairy just have a lot of fat that isn’t great for the heart and blood vessels – I didn’t say you had to become a vegan. Just start by planning to replace one of your main meals during the week with a salad or cooked vegetables. Then the next week, add another round of salad or vegetables. And so on. Habits form out of repetition. But just take baby steps and build upon them.

By making gradual changes, over the course of a week, it’s not such a physical and psychological shock to the system. Challenge yourself to continue on and have fun with it! You will stand a much better chance of making a permanent change in your life if you stick to small, reasonable goals. And let your family and friends know what you’re doing. A strong support system is incredibly important for continued success.

Stay safe and be well,

Nurse Pete