5 steps to a healthier and happier you

Summer is approaching and it is that time of year where we all want to feel lighter and happier. Though it might seem like a daunting task to change your habits and reach your ideal weight or fitness level, I can show you how easy it is to make great progress.

We all crave a healthy relationship with our bodies, but the balance can be hard to find. Do you find yourself motivated on a Monday morning determined that this week everything will change only to be back to square one by Wednesday? Maybe you even avoid social situations because you feel self-conscious about your weight or appearance? No matter what the drive behind your wish to lose weight is, the end goal is still the same- to achieve a loving relationship with your body.

People often think they need a 360 degree change to reach their goals but I’m a firm believer that slow and steady will win the race. With only a few tweaks here and there in your life, you’ll be able to see differences in a matter of weeks!

Follow these 5 steps to take control again and become a healthier and happier you:

Step 1: Get Clear

What do you really want? If you can’t articulate what you want you will never get there. Try thinking of it this way; If you had a magic wand, what would you be wishing for?

Imagine yourself in a dream scenario: you are where you want to be, wearing your ideal outfit in your desired size. How would you feel and behave in this situation that is different from how you do today? How do you think friends and family would describe the differences they’d see?

Now, bearing this in mind, break down what changes you will have to make to achieve the feeling in the dream scenario. Set clear milestones to strive for:

  1. Today
  2. 1 week from now
  3. 1 month from now

Step 2: Say hello to the future you

Write yourself a commitment letter. What behaviours are you committing to over the next week, month or year to achieve your milestones?

You will need to be very clear about what you will do differently. It’s not enough to just know what you want; taking immediate action is the other part of the equation.

Choose three actions that you will start doing from today to support you in your journey and continue with these until you achieve what you want. For example, if you wanted to lose 5 pounds or feel confident enough to wear that dress that you fear attracts too much attention, what actions could you take? Once you’ve achieved your milestones, choose new actions that will continue to support you to new milestones. By writing yourself a commitment letter every month, you will stay energised to continue your new habit.

Step 3: Own up to it

Stop and take responsibility for your own behaviour – other people or situations don’t make you do things. A lot of over consuming is simply to do with awareness; the more you become aware of your habits and behaviours the more you can take control of them at the right time.

Every time you feel hungry, stop and ask yourself what you are hungry for. You’ll be surprised to know that there are actually different hungers such as psychological hunger, physical hunger, emotional hunger and structure hunger. The more aware you become of your own hungers, the easier it will be for you to address these directly rather than through food. Why not create a list of alternatives that will nourish different hungers.

Step 4: Nourish your body

The physical aspect is just as important as your behavioural patterns. Routine is key so set times to eat every day and stick to these! Every morning, wait an hour before breakfast as your digestive system takes about an hour to wake up. Also, make sure you are seated and not rushed as this upsets your digestive system. To help digestion further, be mindful of not drinking fluids with meals. Instead, drink half hour before or after food to help digestion.

Try drinking 2 litres of water every day using 4x 500 ml bottles spread out throughout the day, drinking little and often. Often, people don’t distinguish between hunger and thirst so they reach for food when fluid is what’s needed. Our bodies are made up of 70% water and good hydration will flush any toxins away and will help you feel healthier & happier.

Step 5: Practice gratitude

Don’t just look forward to what you’re hoping to achieve, but remember what you already have too. Write down three things every day that you are grateful for or are proud of. You’ll see it’ll make a tremendous difference.

Remember, change doesn’t happen from a place of comfort so if you find yourself a bit uncomfortable over the course of the journey then your hard work is really paying off – this is exactly where you want to be.

Over the next month be extra kind to yourself. If you notice your behaviour takes you away from your milestones then just restart. Don’t wait for a new day or a new week, just let your mistakes go and begin again at that very moment.

Please let me know how you’re getting on with my tips. If you think a friend could benefit from any of this advice, why not share or try it together? I hope you have a great week!