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Whilst planning for this months Jewel of Life facet of Fun & Recreation, I came across this quote from Dale Carnegie:

“People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing”

It made me think about all of the times I have struggled to make healthy life choices, especially when it comes to nutrition and exercise.

Making any change can be hard because essentially we have to develop new habits, and this can take time. More often than not we want instant results but most of the time that isn’t possible.

But one of the other issues is that we just don’t enjoy doing these new changes and we are effectively trying to force something we don’t like on ourselves. How many times do people sign up for a gym membership (usually annual) but rarely go if at all?

I’ve done this a couple of times, fooling myself into thinking that if I signed up to a contract and paid out money every month I am going to make sure I go, right? Wrong! It was never going to happen because I honestly find that kind of exercise boring and nothing is likely to change that.

It’s the same with our diets. Attempting one of those awful ‘eating plans’ in the hope of shedding a few pounds. You know the type, the ones that promise a quick fix but leave you feeling miserable, tired and hungry.

The thing is nutritious food doesn’t have to be boring and what’s great is that in our modern day world there is so much choice.   You only have to type ‘healthy meal ideas’ into a search engine and you’ll be bombarded with an array of delicious dishes. The same goes for exercise. If hitting the gym isn’t your thing, how about a dance class or yoga?

 

Here’s a few tips to help making healthy changes more fun and less groan:

  1. Keep it simple. I say this all the time but that’s because it’s true. When you are trying to make change the last thing you need is overwhelm. This is especially true for nutrition and exercise. Start making changes one step at a time. Maybe one of the things you want to address is your daily water intake. Get comfortable with that before you attempt to replace your morning coffee with Green Tea. Seeing your progress on one thing will keep motivated.
  2. Be willing to try different things out. You will find healthy new choices that will work for you but you might have to test a few things before you find them. If you’ve never tried something before how do you know if you like it or not.  Plus it will be fun!
  3. Once you know what works you need to have a plan of action i.e. you need to efficiently implement these new changes into your life. If you’re used to grabbing lunch or diner out but now wish to make your own healthy homemade dishes instead you need to be prepared. You’ll need to have recipes and a list of ingredients ready before you hit the supermarket. Wandering aimlessly will lead you straight to the ready meal section.
  4. Be realistic. New habits take time to form and a healthy lifestyle is a life long practice but it will be so worth it!