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4 Steps to a Healthier You

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Making a lifestyle change means learning what works for you and what does not. It means learning from situations, leaning on other people, and taking what seems like failure and turning into a learning experience.

It takes only one decision to change and a simple change in mindset to set you on your own personal journey of nourishing and nurturing yourself. While everyone’s journey is different, they all share a few common roadblocks when it comes to making a lifestyle choice an easy-to-adopt reality.

Here are four strategies to keep in mind as you head towards better health and more energy:

1. Set SMART Goals

Recent research shows that setting SMART goals (Sensible, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic and Time-oriented) promotes successful and long-term changes in dietary behavior.

A four-step goal-setting process is the most beneficial:

  • Recognize a need for change
  • Establish a goal
  • Adopt a goal-directed activity and monitor your progress
  • Reward yourself when you reach each goal

2. Change Your Environment

Making a lifestyle change is difficult enough, without the added pressure and temptations of your old lifestyle lingering around you. In order to be successful, you need an environment that reflects your new way of living and your new goals.

Here are some ideas to keep you on track with your new healthy lifestyle:

  • Print your grocery list at the beginning of the week and put a copy on the fridge.
  • Keep fresh fruit and healthy snacks at home and at the office.
  • Keep a water bottle with you at all times to remind you to drink water regularly.
  • Print out healthy recipes you would like to try.
  • Clean out the fridge and the pantry and replace bad stuff with healthy food options.
  • Make a date to dine out and dine healthy with a friend.

3. Make Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Thinking about one small thing you can do each day to reach your long-term goal is easier than thinking about the larger, somewhat intimidating goal of a complete lifestyle overhaul. By breaking your goal up into smaller, more manageable goals, you will set yourself up for success.

For example:

Week #1: Eat your recommended healthy meals three days a week.
Week #2: Eat your recommended healthy meals four days of that week.
Week #3: Eat your recommended healthy meals five days of that week.

4. Create a Support System

It’s a lot easier to accomplish your goals when you have a team of supportive friends, family, and even strangers in online communities and support groups, cheering you on from the sidelines. This team will reward your progress with congratulations when the times are good and create a cushion of encouragement and inspiration when things get hard.

Using these four strategies, it is easier to set yourself up for success in your journey to a healthier you.

About The Author

Amanda Carlson-Phillips – Amanda Carlson-Phillips is the vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. As a registered dietitian, she has provided educational seminars and individual counseling to a variety of professional and elite sports organizations.

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Tags: Goals, Motivation, Planning, Energy, Health, Weight Loss