Most people enter the New Year with some kind of resolve. Whether it is spoken verbally or kept as a secret goal, there is always something we hope to change. Typically, it revolves around lifestyle habits. Throughout the year these habits began to wear on the spirit so when the end of year is approaching, a personal manifest is created for change. It is a normal behavior to want to improve.
The biggest mistake people make in resolutions which set them up for failure is how they approach the habit. The mind is conditioned to believe a certain way. There is nothing worse than entering into an agreement with the self, and then having disappointment follow after one mishap. You don’t have to do this. Here are some life hacks to re-define the process of change.
Not a ‘diet’
People are looking at their food all wrong by labeling the word ‘diet’. This word should be removed from the dictionary; it creates the wrong mind-set for those looking to shed pounds. There is only one way to approach your eating, and that is to see food for what it provides your body. Instead of using the eyes to eat with or the nose to distract you from healthy eating, you must dissect the ingredients of a meal item according to nutrients. For example, if you are having fish, this is a significant part of your protein for the day. A banana is potassium and minerals. Yogurt is probiotics and vitamin D. It is only by breaking food down into nutritional labeling that you will be able to recreate your beliefs about food and manage weight loss. Add to this thought process that it is not the amount of food you eat, but the quality of nutrients you are consuming. Portion control goes hand-in-hand in changing bad food habits.
What happens during this mental reprogramming is a natural change in eating habits. If you do this enough, your mind will eventually begin to think of food as only this. Then the next time you go to grab a glazed donut, and try to assign a nutrient value, you may just walk away from that donut.
Exercise is Not Punishment
Who said you had to put your body through daily rigorous and copious amounts of exercise you hate just to get healthy? If you have an adrenaline-charged mind set which demands this, then by all means continue. But for most people desiring change, this is a recipe for mental disaster. Exercise should be pleasurable and interesting. It should intrigue the mind and spirit. If you hate exercise, you have yet to discover your own personal path which agrees with you.
Physical activity is for improving moods, stress, brain clarity and function. It keeps the endorphins and adrenal glands in check. Think about how it detoxifies your skin, improving your over-all looks and actions. Exercise is not about buffing up; it is about the feeling of over-all well being.
Pick an adventure in physical activity according to your personality. You don’t have to leave your comfort zone. If you are a loner, engage in an activity to wake up the senses like hiking or swimming. This is a true connection on another level. If you need people to motivate you, throw yourself into something interesting, perhaps dancing. Once you do this, you will be open to new ways of moving your body, and actually enjoy yourself during the process.
The Smoking Slave
Smokers do not want to hear judgments or lectures on how bad it is. They already know. It is a harsh addiction which is difficult to break. They realize this when they light up and hate the fact that they have to. The struggle is real. It is beyond comprehension even for them. Addiction is beyond nicotine into oral gratification and triggers. The life hack for this if you are a smoker is to mentally count the cigarettes you will smoke in one day. Cold turkey is for the hard-core few. By counting, your mind becomes habitually fine-tuned into the habit. After awhile, the counting process naturally happens. It is this awareness which creates a new trigger, a trigger for change. Each week countdown less; for example if 10 is the magic number for the day, do this until you are absolutely comfortable weaning down to 8. It may take a week or a month. It is a conscious building process.
Know your triggers. Indulge them and then starve them on purpose. This will make you feel more in control and less a slave to smoking. For instance, if you have a morning cigarette with coffee, go one morning as long as you can without it. The next day, smoke with your coffee. The thought behind this is avoiding deprivation mindset. YOU are in control. Once your mind defines this, you will lose the slave mentality. You may not quit right away, but behavior modification is a triumph here.
The Unspoken Killers
Stress, anxiety, and depression have become wildfire in a fast moving society. Being healthy means having great coping mechanisms in place. Many times people don’t realize their life is making them sick until disease or illness is prevalent. The cold hard truth is to wake up and pay attention. No one else is going to do that for you. At some point in your life you must confront the wrong things working in your life. This includes toxic relationships, unfulfilling jobs, poor financial habits, unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyles and mental issues. The life hack for dealing with unbalance is progress. This may sound strange, but even a baby step forward is still a step. For example, if you are constantly plagued with stress from a work environment, look beyond the moment by seeking an alternate dream or opportunity. It costs nothing to do this, but feeds your mind with hope for the future in a different direction. It is the proverbial “irons in the fire” mentality. Knowing that you have the option to move on will free you.
Progress with anxiety or depression requires constant biofeedback with the mind. Embrace the problem in an accepting way. Sometimes, mental despair can be a gift and not a curse, the western world has put the wrong label on these disorders. Progress is acceptance. Progress is dealing with your mind every single day of your life. You are not alone. Seek to educate yourself on your issues, and seek out help when it all becomes too overwhelming.
Your Year of Healthy ‘Awareness’
This year get healthy by abandoning ways and habits which are not working for you. Learn to become aware so you can hit issues head on. A solid resolution is not one which follows status quo like ‘dieting’ but one which is thoroughly understood and dissected. When eating, be aware of fork-to-mouth, portion control, and nutrients. Mindful eating habits will last a lifetime in your favor. Indulge in activities which move you in other ways beyond physical. This will keep you mentally and spiritually fed. Make it the year to remove anything toxic from your personal life bubble. Be aware of poisonous endeavors not meant for your best interests. This is the year of becoming connected. The biggest life hack you will ever take on is working thru the many layers of you. If you truly are in a search for health, decide to explore all the possibilities for growth and change, all which require the journey inside.