Would you be willing to make 1 simple lifestyle change – for each of the next 10 months – to become a healthier you?
That’s right – if we make 10 Changes in the next 10 Months, we could be a lot healthier in less than 1 year.
It will require discipline, but I know we can do it.
I need to do this. How about you?
As I mature (read get older) I am finding it harder to stay healthy. Bad habits are not only making it harder to maintain a healthy weight, but just to stay healthy in general. Some mornings different parts of my body ache for no apparent reason and I struggle with different viruses and infections that use to not bother me at all.
Earlier this year, we were out of town for 10 days and when we returned home I was 5 pounds heavier (thanks primarily to eating a lot of fast food on the road), and I was sick for 2 weeks after our return. Then, 2 months later, we did another 10 day trip. I returned with a few more pounds and a sinus infection.
I knew I had to take some action immediately. My weight gain was out of control and I needed to get healthy again. Sure, cutting out the fast food restaurants and taking daily vitamins would help, but I knew it wasn’t the best solution. A more drastic approach was needed.
It’s time for us to get Healthier
In all honesty, I’ve simply gotten lazy over the past few years and bad habits have crept in.
It is time for me to make some healthier lifestyle changes.
Following a simple plan to create some new habits during the next 10 months is doable. These will be oh so worth it!
Creating a New Habit
Because change can be difficult, it is good to focus on only 1 change each month. Discipline is required to help us form new good and healthier habits.
It typically takes 21 days for something to become a “habit” so this plan allows one month to develop each new habit. That way we will have one habit down pat before we start on the next one.
Are you ready to make some changes?
Here we go:
Change 1 – No sweets between meals
No sweet snacks between meals. A typical candy bar has at least 200 calories in it AND it is full of bad for us fats. So, the first thing to change is our habit of mindless snacking on sweets throughout the day.
This doesn’t mean we have to starve if we get hungry between meals. Instead, when we would typically pick up a quick sweet snack, let’s choose something healthier (see tips below).
This change will make us aware of the extra snacking we are doing and will help us start cutting back on the sugar in our diets.
* Be Prepared – Have some simple, on-the-go snacks readily available. Oftentimes we eat the sweet stuff because it’s so easy to grab and eat.
* Some simple snack alternatives:
* Walnuts, Almonds, Grapes, Banana, Carrots, Pretzels
Change 2 – Walk 1 mile a day
Take a 1 mile walk each day. A fast walk is great for you, so if you can, by all means do it. But not everyone (including me) likes to speed walk. We take our dog for a 1 mile walk everyday, so this habit is already ingrained into my day, so for this part of the challenge I am adding a 2nd walk. This change adds some movement to our lives and movement in our day is a very healthy thing. This is a good time to add this habit to our lifestyle.
* Pick a time that works best for you,
* Invite your spouse (after dinner), friend or co-worker (during a break) to walk with you.
Change 3 – Drink more water
Drink more water. We hear all of the time how important it is for us to stay hydrated. I have heard different recommendations of how much water to drink from many different sources. Rather than specifying a specific amount of water to drink, let’s just drink more water than we have been (unless you already drink a lot, of course). Let’s aim for twice as much as we drink now. That’s a great place to start!
* Drink 1 glass of water when you first wake up (I can’t do this as it makes me feel ill, but if you can, go for it, it helps get things moving inside you)
* Fix yourself a to go cup of water to keep with you throughout the day – and drink from it regularly.
* Drink a glass of water before and/or after your meals
* Infuse fruit into your water for a little variety. I like adding a Meyers lemon or sweet tasting orange pieces to infuse my water. Infusers can be inexpensive and are available at many stores.
Change 4 – Say “no” to sodas
Don’t drink any soft drinks. This can be a game changer for a lot of people. If you are like me, cold turkey is the way to go. If you prefer, you can allow yourself one or two soft drinks a week to make it more bearable, but of course that choice will impact your weight loss. But, hey, it’s your Change Plan, and it’s going to be your lifestyle, so make rules that will work for you in the long run.
* This tip is just an encouragement. I personally know a young man who lost over 50 pounds last year. He only made 1 change. He stopped drinking soft drinks. Period. That was it. I don’t know how many he had been drinking a day before he cut them out, but it certainly goes to show that changing one bad habit to a good habit can make a huge difference.
Change 5 – Do a plank challenge
Do a plank challenge. They are so good for strengthening your core. That is a good thing for your whole body.
My plank challenge is included in our free resource library. Just sign up the newsletter at the bottom of this post to access this freebie. Print it out and put it where you will see it every day. Visual reminders are very helpful!
One final tip: Journal
* Change 1 – Write down all of the snacks you eat each day.
* Change 2 – Jot down that you took a 1 mile walk and the time of day.
* Change 3 – Write down how much water you drink.
* Change 4 – Draw a Star in your journal to note that you didn’t drink any soft drinks that day.
* Change 5 – Put a big check mark in your journal to note that you did the plank for the day.
Writing them down can be a powerful motivator for getting them done each day. If you want, use colors and doodles – make it fun! We want to enjoy becoming healthier.
You’ll start with just the snacks entries for the first month, and add another type of entry each month. When you get to month 5, it could look something like the sample above. Or, you can use the free New Habits Journal or the Monthly Habit Tracker that are included in the Change Your Habits set in our resource library. Just sign up for our newsletter below and you’ll have access to these free worksheets.
Don’t be in a rush. Learning bad habits took us a lot of time.
It will take us 5 months to build these 5 new habits into our lifestyle.
It will be so good for our health. We will be so glad we did it!
Be sure to read 10 Changes for a Healthier You, Part II to see changes 6 – 10.
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The library includes a set of worksheets that will help you in your journey to a healthier you.
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