Incorporating lifestyle changes can feel overwhelming and intimidating, especially when change is needed to improve your health. You may be hearing the need for change from healthcare providers, loved ones, or within, and not know where to even begin. The need to make a change for your health may feel like you are required to give up favorite items, foods, or habits making the desire to change even less attractive. The good news is that change does not have to be a negative experience. In fact, change can be positive. When you reframe your perspective and remove the diet mentality by focusing on what can be gained, you achieve more than you could possibly lose. Consider incorporating these 3 tips below to remove the diet mentality and improve your lifestyle:
- Make a list of benefits to be gained. Instead of focusing on what you will give up, place more emphasis on what you will gain. Develop a list of reasons that are intrinsically important for the needed change. Start by determining what is most important to you and why. When you establish what you will get out of it, the necessary changes may feel less daunting. In the beginning it may be worthwhile to keep the list on your phone or in a location you often see to help remind you of the things that are most important to you. That way when faced with temptation there is an accessible reminder to view on why making changes are important. For some, it may be that you want to be more active with your children or grandchildren. Others may be able to check items off their bucket list, get that job, improve mental health, enhance energy level, or complete that 5K. Keep your mindset positive by focusing on what will be gained instead of what will be lost. To learn more about the benefits of having a positive mindset, read this Cecelia Health blog.
- Smart small by developing habits that you look forward to. Begin by incorporating one change that is realistic for you to successfully achieve in the short term. Starting with a small goal allows successes to build on one another, which can improve self-efficacy and achieve the desired results. Assess your progress regularly to determine your success. If a goal needs to be modified, revise it so that way you are successful. When you consistently achieve a goal, celebrate, and build onto it or begin a new step towards making a change. For more tips on setting and achieving SMART goals, read this Cecelia Health blog.
- Conduct an honest assessment of your stage of change. The five stages of change are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. These stages of change help you to determine how willing you are to make a change. Keep in mind that your stage of change may ebb and flow during different times in your life. Once you identify which stage of change you are currently in, you can set a realistic expectation to help advance to the next stage of change. The stages of change are discussed in more detail through this resource made available by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.
Incorporating lifestyle change can feel overwhelming, especially when change is needed to improve your health. You may not want to make changes due to not wanting to give up favorite items or habits. Change does not have to be negative; it can be positive. When you reframe your perspective to remove the diet mentality and focus on what can be gained, you can achieve more than anticipated and improve your lifestyle.
Begin by making a list of what you will gain by determining what is most important to you, smart small by developing habits you look forward to with SMART goals, and conduct an honest assessment of your current stage of change to ensure you are ready to take the next step. Incorporating these 3 tips can transform your health, improve your lifestyle, remove the diet mentality, and shift your perspective to what you will gain. Why wait, start today!