How to develop the right mindset for healthy living goals so you can succeed even when you feel like you’ve failed.
There have been so many stages.
The oblivious childhood stage (eat, play, sleep). The teenage dieting & exercise stage (no eating, only exercise). The college junk food/partying stage (eat and drink all the junk).
The young adult healthy awareness stage (join a gym, learn to love wheat germ). The busy career girl stage (lots and lots of cheese and crackers. and wine).
The exhausted new mom stage (what gym? how about takeout?) The supermom try-to-do-it-all stage (homemade animal crackers, DIY cleaning products, Pinterest inspired birthday parties).
The very full life stage (inspired healthy cooking, barre class, meditation – all fit in around driving kids to sports and homework help).
And there will be more stages to come.
Just like a batch of homemade bread dough, my attempts at healthy living have risen and flopped and risen again.
Your stages will be different from mine but one thing will be the same: constant change.
It’s hard to be healthy all the time. No, scratch that. It’s impossible to be healthy all the time.
But the last thing I want is for you to feel like a failure every time you eat all the cookies, miss a class at the gym or let the kids have artificially colored candy.
The best way to be successful at healthy living is to have a positive outlook and make room for the realities of life.
(print this on cardstock as a friendly reminder)
The Right Mindset For Healthy Living
Whatever stage you are in, wrap your head around these ideas to help you rock your healthy living goals, while keeping a good perspective on reality.
Some call it the 80/20 rule. I like to call it mindful moderation. Be aware of your healthy choices but leave room for indulgences and time off. Eat the birthday cake! Don’t sweat the lack of exercise on vacation! The best recipe for success at healthy living is to not try to do it all the time.
Learn as much as you can about healthy food choices and healthy living. Read books. Read blogs. Watch documentaries like Fed Up and STINK with your family. The more you know, the easier it will be to make smart, healthy choices for you and your family.
Being mindful means noticing your thoughts and feelings without judgement. So next time you choose the pizza over the salad – notice. Next time you choose the salad over the pizza – notice. Being aware is what’s important. Nothing is wrong or right. It just is. The more you pay attention to the choices you make each day, the calmer you will feel about them.
The after school sports. The PTA meeting. The report due at work…. you can’t do it all plus make dinner and get to the gym. Don’t expect every day or every week to be the same. The more you build in flexibility to your goals and expectations, the higher your chance of success.
(FREE motivation right here!)
Don’t forget to acknowledge your wins! Pat yourself on the back for choosing the fresh fruit instead of the cookie at the work meeting. Appreciate the fact that you got off the couch and took a long walk. Congratulate yourself for making a healthy meal.
Be Open Minded
Back in college I pretty much lived off of popcorn and beer. Yet somehow I survived. Healthy looks different at different stages of life. Be open minded about what healthy looks like to you right now. Set simple goals that work with your current lifestyle needs and challenges.
Accept Your Flaws
What if you gave up on your healthy living goals every time you raided a bag of chips or fed the kids frozen pizza for dinner? Ha! I’d have given up a long time ago! Be forgiving. Don’t go down a death spiral each time you miss your mark. Recommit to your goals (or make new, more realistic ones) and move on!
By being mindful, accepting, balanced and all things mentioned above, you’ll develop a quiet sense of confidence in yourself. You’ll know that your healthy journey will have ups and downs. You’ll trust that you can reframe and recommit to your goals. You’ll be confident that you’re doing the best you can, on any given day, at any given stage.
So yeah – I’ve been through stages when I’ve gained weight from eating too much brie and cheesecake (I blame it on growing up in Wisconsin). Or become so lazy from lack of exercise that I didn’t think I could get off the couch to save my life. But I didn’t give up. I bought some kale, got off the couch and got back to the version of mindful, healthy living that works for me. You can do it too my friend!
What motivates you to keep up with your healthy living goals?