Getting healthy means different things to different people. For some, it means losing weight. For others, it involves eating better, cutting out some guilty pleasures, or just getting in shape. Whatever you hope to accomplish, here are some tips to help you get there.
1) Identify a manageable, high level objective: If there are just one or two things about your health you would like to focus on improving, then start there. If you have a bunch of stuff you want to “fix”, avoid the temptation of trying to do it all at once. If you try to take on too much, you make the task at hand harder and your chance of success goes down. Once that happens, you become demoralized and demotivated and you will almost certainly fail. “Lose weight” or “drink less soda” are examples of manageable, high-level objectives.
2) Set achievable goals: Once you have decided what your objective is, identify achievable goals along the path to meeting your objective. Make sure that your goals are easily measurable, and that they are discreet (i.e., not prone to be influenced by other things). You will find something like “lose 10 pounds” to be a much more workable goal than “feel better”. If your objective is very ambitious (e.g., lose 100 pounds) don’t make your goal be the entire objective — being able to accomplish a goal is very motivating, so you should do what you can to leverage that.
3) Track your progress: Keep tabs on how you are doing. If you use a product like LifeTopix, the Health + Activity logging component gives you an easy way to capture the relevant information you need to track all in the convenience of your handheld device which is always at your side. It also gives you built-in graphing capability so you can see, at-a-glance, major trends. It even gives you the ability to graph multiple things together so you can spot correlations. No matter what kind of progress you are making, use it for motivation. If you are not making the progress you had hoped for, use it to give you the kick you need. If you are making progress, use it to instill in you the desire to keep going.
4) Re-evaluate periodically: Set checkpoints along the way for when you will look at everything and do a status check including where you started and where you are now. Check to make sure everything still makes sense. If you had started with a weight-related objective and then, later, found out about some medical condition that you have, then it may be advisable to make an adjustment.
5) Reward yourself for success: If the end goal is not enough in its own right, then give yourself a reward for getting to where you wanted to go. If accomplishing your objective required denying yourself something that you really love, then have a little of whatever that is. Or, if accomplishing your objective required having to do something you really do not love, then take a holiday from that for a day or a week, or reduce the intensity. Just resist the urge to go completely off the wagon so that you can prevent from undoing all your hard work.