- Remove temptations - From the house, life, wherever you can. Will-power is a finite thing. If you are constantly having to say no to bad food choices or drinks in your own house, your will power will be all used up before you even leave for work. By removing the ability to make a bad choice, you are able to save your will power for bigger, more impactful health choices. This goes for more than food. Take a moment to analyze your life and figure out areas that are holding you back from leading a health-conscious life.
- Set your week up for success - This means meal prepping, organizing your schedule and laying out your clothes. The more decisions and obstacles you can remove from your week, the easier it will be to stay on track when last minute things are thrown at you. The most impactful tip is meal prep. Invest in meal prep containers and set aside a few hours on Sunday to prepare 5 lunches and a handful of dinners for the week. By doing this ahead of time, you won't be tempted to reach for the bad option after a long day of work or run out for takeout again.
- Build a routine - We are creatures of habit. If something doesn't become a part of our weekly routine, chances are we won't stick with it. By building a routine focused on health, you are making a daily commitment to your wellness. The more health-conscious your routine becomes, the more bad habits you break in the process. Creating a routine is the best way to put healthy habits on autopilot thus making your lifelong health journey more sustainable.
- Find a community - It is natural human instinct to want to be part of a community. But the people we surround ourselves with highly influences our life. If you are looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, being part of a community that doesn't share or support those values can make your journey very difficult. If they are constantly creating temptations that use up your will-power, it might be time to expand your tribe. The more you stick to a healthy routine and habits, the more likely you will create friends and find a community with those same health habits that will encourage you to live your best life.
- Make it fun - If you are not enjoying your routine, you won't stick to it. There is no "right way" to live a healthy life. There are certain components that need to be included to maintain a healthy lifestyle (nutrition, sleep, exercise, mental wellness, and community) but there are so many options within each of areas. For example, nutrition for one person could be a ketogenic lifestyle while for another person it's Paleo and for another it's just a more conscious, balanced diet. If CrossFit isn't your thing, maybe water aerobics is or a slow pitch softball league. We are all striving to build a healthy life but everyone's building blocks are individual and should reflect their personality.
In 2020 it's almost cliche to claim your New Year's resolution is improving your health, losing weight or some other variation of working on wellness. We've become unfazed by the countless magazines, news outlets and companies releasing diet advice and offering solutions to help you meet those resolutions. It's almost as if there is an expectation to fail.
It's time to change the thought process around health. It is not a project we start every January that slowly fades into a broken promise by spring. At Avena, we've been working on our wellness since our start in 2007. Our goal as a team, and for our patients, is to build a lifestyle that promotes health and longevity. We believe health is not something to just prioritize at the first of every year. Nor should you wait for your health to fail before working on it. Health is a daily commitment to ourselves by making choices that better our wellness. Sure, there are times during this lifelong journey that you make a bad choice but the key is to not let a bad choice derail you from leading an overall, health-conscious life. Throughout our own health journey's, we've all made choices that set us back. The key is to learn from these poor choices and build in ways to make smarter ones next time. A lifelong commitment to health seems daunting, yet a fulfilling life is worth it. The more you exercise your health "muscles" the easier it will be to make decisions to benefit your health. Here are our top 5 ways we help make our health journey sustainable: