1. Start Small
Quite possibly the biggest mistake people make is pushing the accelerator too soon. You can’t lose 20 pounds in a week. But you can lose one. Taking small bites and chewing slowly have as much to do with goal achievement as they do with your mom’s dinner table scolding.
2. Get It On Paper
Whether setting your first goals, tracking daily progress, or sharing your deepest thoughts with a journal, writing things down crystallizes your ideas, exposes underlying fears, and paints an accurate picture of real life.
3. Focus On Everyday Habits
The building blocks of a healthy lifestyle are forged in the smallest of actions you take every day and every week. Healthy choices can become as natural as brushing your teeth or locking the front door. Build one habit, one action at a time.
4. Always See Your Goal
Goals need attention. They need to be seen and heard and thought of often if they ever hope to come true. So surround yourself with as many reminders as possible.
5. Be Consistent
Imagine a plane taking off. In the beginning, a lot of energy is spent to simply get moving down the runway. But as speed and momentum take over, the plane is pulled forward and up into the sky, faster and further by the second. Consistent action, no matter how small, has more power than you ever imagined.
6. Never Stop Learning
A healthy lifestyle is a process—a journey more than a destination. You can always learn more about nutrition, fitness, and even yourself that can help you be just a little bit better tomorrow.
7. Come Out of Seclusion
Has anyone ever achieved anything of real value all alone? Probably not many. Most receive some form of help from other people. Support, information, a sense of shared experience, encouragement, advice, and a well-timed pep talk are all invaluable as you set off on your adventure.
8. Allow For Setbacks
Accept the fact right now that you will make mistakes, and that it can be a positive thing. We are usually harder on ourselves that we are on anyone else we know. Be your own #1 fan. That means being supportive (instead of critical) when you stumble, and enjoying your wins (rather than ignoring your accomplishments) when you succeed.
9. Trust Your Plan
You’ll have up weeks and down weeks, and frustrating weeks that make no sense at all. The tools and strategies you’re learning will help you build a plan that makes a healthier lifestyle almost inevitable. If you consistently make the right choices and build healthy habits, weight loss is literally just a matter of time.
10. Have Fun!!!
Who says getting healthy has to be a chore, a burden to be endured or suffered through? Probably a very unhappy person, that’s who. This is an exciting adventure of self-discovery and building a meaningful life. Enjoy the ride!
-- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer, Sparkpeople