We all have unique stories to tell about our lives. The majority of these revolve around the things we deem most important: family, friends, health, happiness, spirituality, career, etc.
If someone asked you to write a story about your health, what would you say? If you’re like most people, you’d probably classify yourself as “pretty healthy.” In fact, according to the 2012 Food & Health Survey, 91 percent of folks rated their health as “good,” “very good,” or “excellent.”
But the health statistics tell another story. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 31 percent of all adults have hypertension; 8 percent have diabetes; and 36 percent are obese.
Clearly there’s a disconnect here. Taking an honest look at yourself is hard. But for a lot of us, it’s necessary.
Here are five steps you can take to re-write the story of your health starting right now:
1. Write down your goals. Goals hold you accountable and give you something to measure your progress against. Start with the big picture. What are your health goals for 5 years from today? 3 years? 1 year? Then take your big picture goals and break them down. If you want to lose 20 pounds this year, it means you need to average a little under 2 pounds of weight loss a month, or half a pound a week. Keeping a daily/weekly planner and set new health goals every day. It only takes a minute, and it’s incredibly effective.
2. Start small. Getting healthy is a marathon, not a race. If you try to take on too much at once, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Commit to just a couple simple changes each week when starting out. For example, eat a healthy breakfast every day … take a 15-minute walk … skip dessert … you get the idea.
3. Reward yourself. Living a healthy lifestyle is about balance. It doesn’t mean you’ll never eat pizza again. In fact, you should reward yourself with a piece of pizza or two every once in a while. If you have a great week of exercising and eating healthy, then don’t feel bad about eating that dessert. Just make sure you’re ready to burn off those calories the next day.
4. Find a support network. Friends and family are our “rocks”. We lean on them when times get tough. This is no different for your health. Pick out a few of your friends who have been successful at leading a healthy lifestyles, and lean on them for support, guidance, and motivation.
The great thing about life is that every day … every minute … every second is a fresh start. Don’t look back on the things you did or didn’t do in the past. It doesn’t matter. Remember this: yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today is a gift.
So take control of your health starting today. Because after all, we all like a story with a happy ending.
Grab Scott Christ’s free eBook The Ultimate Healthy Eating Roadmap and learn more about how to live a healthy, “real food” lifestyle.