7 Things That Will Help You Stay on Track to Becoming A Healthy Happy Version of Yourself
Changing your lifestyle can be hard work. I know before I changed mine I always envied those people who exercised on the regular, rarely drank, ate healthy meals, stayed away from bad treats, got lots of shit done and made it look easy.
I could not understand how they did it.
My will power was all too weak to avoid eating the donut and downing the sangria.
I would describe my previous self as a sugar driven, drunky with a gluttonous addiction to all things, especially food. Everything I did, I did in excess…more food, more drinks, more Netflix, more boys. Thank god I never got onto cigarettes or coffee because I am sure I would have been a chain-smoking caffeine driven monster…but then maybe my food addiction wouldn’t have been so strong. My family used to call me the garbage can, because anything you didn’t want you could throw my way and I’d gobble it up.
It is beyond me why I never was overweight, I mean I packed on an extra 20 lbs at one point but it was hardly noticeable. I definitely spent a better part of my teenage/early twenties in a food coma, the kind of food coma you experience after thanksgiving dinner where you need to take a nap and you can feel the food is stuck halfway up your esophagus because there is no room left in your stomach to hold it-sexy, eh?.
I now drink on very few occasions, watch maybe 2 hours of TV a month, live an active lifestyle, have an awesome relationship, and fill myself with nutritious plant-based food on the daily.
I still eat in excess, but thankfully now I binge on good nutritious food, for the most part. I eat when I’m bored or procrastinating or as a late night reward for who knows what.
So I am actively working on this over-eating snack habit, and also actively working on meditating daily because I know it’s good for me!
Building healthy New Norms can be hard but are totally worth it in the end! It is going to take me a while to get my meditation and snacking on point, but I will prevail because I have before and you can too!
Here are 7 things that have helped me change my lifestyle and will help you too!
#1- Make a Commitment to Never Stop Trying
Okay, so when you decide you want something, and you want it really badly, you have to decide that you are going to keep trying no matter how many times you fail. Going through business school I constantly heard things like this:
‘The entrepreneurs that make it are the ones that aren’t afraid to fail. The more times you fail, the closer you are to succeeding. Most successful entrepreneurs have many failed businesses before they made the one that works.’
Because every time you fail you are learning something, something you can take forward and put in practice so you are more likely to succeed next time. You can take this principle and apply it to your own life and health. You are the entrepreneur of your own mind and body. Commit to it.
I reckon I tried to quit social and binge drinking in 2014 and didn’t succeed until 2017. I had my ups and downs, and stints where I would succeed for a few months and then go back to old habits but I would keep trying to quit. My commitment to trying worked eventually and I can proudly say it’s been almost 3 years now that my social and binge drinking have remained at an all-time low.
It’s the same case for going gluten-free for me. I tried for years, I’d go gluten-free for a few days then fall off the wagon, then a few weeks, then off the wagon, over and over again for years. But now I can confidently say I have been gluten-free for almost 3 years. My commitment to trying kept me going, and the knowledge, new perspectives, and experiences I have learned got me there. And I am glad I kept trying because going gluten-free significantly changed my life for the better. Imagine I had given up trying? I would still be suffering. Commitment- to seriously never stop trying- along with the following points can get you to your New Norms faster than I ever did 🙂
#2 -Educate Yourself
Figure out what it is you want to change and educate yourself on the matter. Flood your brain with information on the topic. Google, read blogs, listen to podcasts, buy books, watch documentaries. I’m a big believer that little tidbits of insight have the power to transform how you think about things. One book, one blog post, one podcast can literally change your life.
I remember the first time I realized this. It was the beginning of 2014. I read an article on how you have the power to change your job – you just have to take action. I had spent the previous summer working as a general laborer and I hated it. I dreaded every minute, counting down the time till my next break, and the weekend. The only thing that got me through was knowing that I was done in September and would go back to university. The moment I read that article I vowed to not end up in a career I hated, living for the weekends because there are tons of opportunities and jobs out there you just have to be willing to find them. I can proudly say I have not worked a job I dreaded since then- and, well I’m still working on figuring out the career part! Point is, the article really changed how I personally viewed life and my future and made me realize I have control over where my life goes.
(P.s. I realize that the above is not possible for people with responsibilities, and kids, and big payments but the point here is not to tell you to get a new job, it’s to help you realize small nuggets of wisdom can change your life)
Reading this blog and this blog post on plant-based diets changed the way I viewed my health and inspired me to give the High-Carb Low-Fat plant-based lifestyle a go which ultimately transformed my life. (Read more about that here).
You just never know what information you’re going to find out there! It might just give you that little kick-in the pants you need to get started on becoming the new you 🙂
#3- Surround Yourself with People who Have Got There
One of the most helpful things for me has been surrounding myself with people who are already successfully doing the things I want to do. This can be in real life or online. In real life, look for clubs/events in town that share your new interest. You will be surprised at what you find once you start looking! For example, if you’re thinking of taking up running, join a running club, interested in plant-based eating, there’s probably a vegan community in town having pot-lucks. They have everything out there these days! I just saw a poster for making hanging potted plants- pretty cool!
If you’re from a smaller town that doesn’t have these kinds of things then join an online community. That’s the beauty of the internet age, you can access all sorts of people you never would have found before!
Join facebook groups, online communities, follow inspiring people on Instagram. Flood your social media and inbox with people and information that inspires you! Be active in these communities and make friends! I find generally people are really willing to help you when you ask them about your new shared interest 🙂
Doing this really helped me get the ball rolling with my health journey and now I use this tactic to help me with my online business. It really works great 🙂
#4- Try Different Approaches
When something doesn’t work try a different approach. For example, I tried for the longest time to create consistent exercise with follow-along workout programs. I always felt like a failure because I could never stick to the exact plan. So I’d always try a new program. It didn’t work. I then tried approaching exercise differently. I committed to doing more activities I enjoy like running, swimming, mountain biking, and yoga and it has helped me stay more consistent because I focus on things I enjoy and less on things I don’t !
This is especially helpful for changing your diet! Don’t like a certain veggie? Try a different one. Don’t like bean texture? Try them blended as a dip or put them in your baking.
The point here is: get creative. Try different approaches until you find something that works for you! Before you know it you’ll have a new norm!
#5- Let Go of What You Consider ‘Normal’
Okay, this is a big one here. Realize that normal is like the word ‘cool’. It’s subjective. Normal is different to everyone. You don’t have to follow play to society’s general view of normal, our society made up these views so we also have the power to change them! You can pick and choose what you want to be your New Normal.
Let’s say your family considers it ‘normal’ to eat meat. So if you decide you don’t want to eat ‘meat’ they might consider you ‘not, normal’ but let’s just say you grew up in a vegan family and you decided to eat meat. That would be ‘not normal’ to them. Get where I’m going here? You get to pick what’s normal to you because you control your thoughts and your actions.
My sister lifts heavyweights and does handstands on everything. To her that’s normal. To me it’s insane. I run 10k for fun, to her that’s insane. Pick your own normal!
Also just note that at first, your friends will bug you for changing, but if you hold your ground, eventually time will pass and it will be normal to your friends – you’ll just be ‘that friend that runs 20k for fun, eats weird vegan food, or sings 24/7’. They get so used to your ‘new norm’ that it becomes normal to them.
#6- Look Back Review, and De-Stress
Time goes by fast- really fast. I swear each year you get older time goes by faster. If I’ve learned anything it’s to not be upset at all the things you didn’t accomplish but to appreciate all the things you HAVE done. Remember we’re on a journey!
So let’s say you have a goal to have a plant-based day every day this week. The week goes by and you only have one plant-based day. Celebrate that.
You are that much closer to your goal, don’t focus on the past 6 days you didn’t eat plants. Just sit down, re-assess and see how the next week you could adjust to do better. Before you know it, 3 years will go by and you’ll be calling yourself plant-based for the last 2 years. 3 years from now you won’t be thinking about how in the beginning you could only do one day a week.
Remember this, it’s helpful for any ‘new norm’ you want to form. Be easy on yourself and don’t compare yourself to others.
#7- Remember the First Little Bit is the Hardest
Remember the first little bit is always the hardest. Keep this in mind when you feel yourself failing. It will be hard but it will get easier. The more you do something the easier it gets. I think as adults we tend to forget this. We tend to get stagnant, or afraid, we stop trying new things because they are hard at first. Little kids don’t have this fear. They want to learn to do something, they try it, they don’t care who’s watching, they keep going until they get it.
Imagine babies stopped trying to walk because they were afraid someone was going to laugh at them or judge them or that they might fall. Take some inspo from that baby and get past the hard part and soon you’ll be running straight into that new goal you made for yourself!
Changing your lifestyle can take a long time, but remember life is a journey and every conscious step we take will bring us that much closer to our healthy New Norm 🙂 .
Interested in starting a new norm today? How about trying to eat a plant-based meal? Grab our FREE How to Make a Smoothie Bowl for absolute beginners (BELOW) and swap out one of your meals for a smoothie bowl!
Stay Planted 🙂
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I am not a doctor or dietitian. The information on here is based on what worked for me. There is a lot of research out there on plant-based diets and the positive impact this diet has on health which really made me comfortable with my plant- based lifestyle choice! If you want to dive more into the science/evidence side of things check out our resources section. Any statements made on these platforms are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult with your medical practitioner before making any changes to your current diet and lifestyle.