Every day I see people come into my office looking for solutions to change the way they look and feel. They usually have a general idea of how this can be accomplished and most have done their due diligence on health and nutrition. I have discussed throughout this website how various programs and nutrition paradigms can help you achieve your goal but what most people fail to do over the long term is build these philosophies and strategies into their everyday life. Babies learn to crawl, walk and then talk. After awhile it becomes second nature and they do it for the rest of their lives. It becomes routine and most adults can do it very well. A healthy and evolving lifestyle requires the same focus and attention. Most people can join a gym and training program for 6 weeks, 3 months or even 6 months. The problem is they feel they have sacrificed too much from the other facets of their life and when the program is over, they go back to what they were doing before and what sent them to the gym or doctor in the first place. Unfortunately they haven’t effectively built their physical exercise and meal preparations into their daily routine for the future. So the question becomes how do you do this and how do you sustain it?
The first thing people need to do is realize they are the “pilot” or director of their own life. Nobody cares about you more than you do. Your actions will invariably generate a response in either a positive or negative light. I will use an analogy that resonates with most people. Most commercial planes have 2 pilots and approximately 200 passengers. The pilots are directing and guiding the plane and the passengers are really oblivious to what is going on. It is a lot like life where you have about 1 to 2 percent of the population directing their lives and living their dreams while the other 99 percent are just along for the ride. They live day to day doing the same things over and over again because change appears too hard or inconvenient. This usually leads to boredom, frustration, “mid life crisis” and a lack of ambition. I digress a bit but the point is a healthy lifestyle or resistance program needs to be implemented into your day and followed over an extended period of time. You need to find a time in the day when you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family. It takes anywhere from 30 to 90 days for something to become a habit. Exercise should be no different. Gradually over time, you find 45 minutes in the morning to exercise, take an extra 15 – 30 minutes to prepare healthy meals and then eventually the time you spend on making yourself and your family healthier in the near term will be paid back in large dividends in your elder years when you are travelling the world, playing with your great grandchildren and just enjoying life. It is when a healthy lifestyle becomes mandatory and not optional that you will begin to see marked progress and opportunities opening up for you.
The final technique that I find helpful when building a healthy lifestyle in your everyday life over the long term is to write down the pros and cons of leading a healthy life versus the alternative. For example, a healthy lifestyle produces more energy, higher quality sleep, better physique, functional internal organs, longevity and the list goes on an on. You would do the same for the negatives which quite frankly are minimal to zero when done correctly. It will become evident very quickly what your decision should be. While you have hopefully read this far in my article, trust me when I say the day will come when you are faced with a major obstacle or health issue and you will ask this question: why didn’t I do something sooner or what could I have done differently to avoid this mess I am in now. My last words to you are it is much better to be pro-active and take control of your life now than wait for the doctor to read you a concerning report that tells you what you already knew and what you could have done to avoid it.
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