Whenever I’ve tried to make a positive change in my life, I’ve been surprised at how often people told me, “Change is hard.”
It was like they were warning me that I shouldn’t try too hard and get disappointed. I even found myself saying it a time or two. “Just stay where you are… it’s probably OK…”
But you know what? It doesn’t have to be like that.
Actually, change can be fun. All it takes is finding ways to keep yourself motivated and making some strategic decisions to ensure your success.
- Pick an exercise or physical activity that’s fun. Weightlifting, yoga, swimming, biking, jogging, dancing… the options are endless. So, pick one that lights up your power and your enjoyment.
- Make it convenient for your schedule. If you choose a location on the other side of town, then traffic or weather could give you a reason to stay home. Remove any barrier!
- Bring a friend. Whether you’re walking, jogging, or going to the gym, you will enjoy it more – and be less likely to blow it off – with a partner.
- Don’t think of it as “exercise.” Open your heart to a broader view. Hiking is reconnecting with nature. Yoga is restorative. Playing soccer with your kids is being a good parent.
- Use an app on your smartphone or watch to keep track of what you eat and how you exercise. It’s actually fun – and it keeps your efforts gently top of mind.
- Shop at a farmers market for your fruits and vegetables. It’s delightful what you find at them.
- Connect a new habit with something you already do without thinking. For example, what if you meditate for 5 minutes each morning immediately before you take your shower? Or go to spin class on your way home from worship services?
- Get your family on board for group participation. Can you get the kids excited about exploring plant-based entrees once a week? Or ask your partner to join you in the community 5K?
- Celebrate little victories along the way. The major goals can be daunting and so far in the future. Give yourself weekly encouragement for what you’re doing well.
- Smile! Seriously, remind yourself to smile while you’re exercising or cooking a healthy dinner. Laugh, even. Research shows that both happy actions can make us feel good, even if we’re faking them.
Be proud of the amazing steps you’re taking to enrich yourself – and even more amazed at how you created healthy habits that really are fun!