How to mentally prepare for lifestyle change

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When it comes to making change, we generally prepare ourselves in the most obvious ways.  You stock up your fridge with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, plan healthy meals and snacks and schedule in time to exercise.  However, we don’t often think about getting our heads in the right place for making change.  Because change often throws us challenges, it pays to not only prepare yourself practically but also by preparing mentally.  Here’s a few tips in how to mentally prepare for change

Focus

The best place to start when you’re making change, is of course goals.  Write them down as SMART goals and read over it daily so it’s always fresh in your head.  Visualisation is another technique that research shows helps people reach their goals.  Imagine yourself where you want to be and how you’ll feel when you get there.

Be tough yet kind

When you’re making changes to your diet and exercise, it’s important to be tough on yourself, but still allow yourself  a little bit of slack.  Being consistent the majority of the time is key.  Don’t allow yourself to go more than a few days without exercise unless your injured or unwell, otherwise it’s easy to let it drop another day, and before you know it, you’re back to square one.  In terms of nutrition,  allow some treats in your diet but don’t over induldge. Accept that you are not perfect  and allow room for ‘mistakes’

Tell your friends and enlist their support
They’ll be your best support buddies and help keep you on track when you feel like throwing in the towel.  Also telling someone close to you also makes you more accountable. If you say you’re going to run a 10k race to your close friend, you feel more accountable to sticking to that goal.

Look after yourself with enough sleep, have fun and manage stress

Sleep is so important when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Not only for the reason that you feel lethargic and lack focus.  When you’re tired, you’re more likely to reach for high sugar foods and not have the will power to stick to your goals.  Sleep  deprivation also increases hunger hormones, making you eat more which can contribute to weight gain. You can read more about that here

 

Are there any tips you have to mentally prepare for lifestyle change? Do share in the comments below.

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