The following tips are my personal recipe for successful and lifetime personal wellness. These are the strategies I have employed for the last 25 years that have kept me motivated to continue to try to improve my overall wellness. For the record, wellness encompasses the following three key components: Fitness, Nutrition and Stress Management. These tips apply to all these categories and can be considered as my personal benchmark recommendations for success.
Battle vs. War
When we identify that changes in our wellness are necessary the tendency is to want to change every aspect of our lives and to do so instantly. We decide that starting January 1, you pick the year, our New Years resolution is going to include starting a daily 2-hour workout program, starting a 100% vegan nutrition program, and starting to meditate 4-hours a day. We set the clock for 4am and plan to get started by popping out of bed and hitting the gym for 6-hours, right after drinking 32 ounces of vitamin water, but not before we face East and bowing to Mecca! Cut to the real world and we see that alarm going off at 4:00am and our fist smashing it into the next life as we go back to sleep for another 3 hours. Oh well….there’s always next year!
Sound familiar? I know a lot of people who have had good intentions to get going, but they are ill prepared to make a shift of such drastic proportions. It’s like the beginning of a war and they want to win the war that day. Forget about it! We need to focus on a smaller piece of the war and win one battle at a time. Anything more than that can be potentially dangerous to our health and mental well being, and failure is virtually guaranteed. Starting slow and having a positive experience is far more likely to generate a lifelong wellness program. Win small battles and you will win the war!
Set Realistic Goals
A better plan is to take on small changes that make sense for you. For example, if you are looking to begin a wellness program for the first time, after you get some direction from your doctor on where it is medically safe to begin, you could start your fitness plan by beginning a walking program. You could change your eating habits by adding a fruit or vegetable to each meal rather than depriving yourself of the things you like. You could start a stress management program by sitting quietly for 10 minutes every morning and evening. The truth is, small, realistic changes are something you can do without shocking your system. Small changes are generally safe and they accomplish the goal of getting you started on a lifelong journey. Lifetime wellness should always be our goal. Remember, you did not get out of shape overnight. This was a decline that potentially has occurred over years or even decades. It takes time to make positive changes and change should be slow, realistic and steady if you want to be successful.