Congratulations! You are ready to make some important health and lifestyle changes – eat healthier foods, get active and take care of yourself. You may feel excited, motivated and a little nervous. You want to be healthier and you want the changes to stick. So what can you do to make your journey easier and ensure you stay on track?

Makeover your physical environment

Take a look around your home, workplace and car. How could you change your surroundings to help facilitate your health goals?

Take healthy snacks to work or in the car to help prevent cravings for unhealthy foods. Put your fitness clothes out the night before to make you feel committed to exercise in the morning. Remove tempting foods to make your goals easier.

The key is to make sure your physical environment has less triggers for unhealthy choices. And plenty of options that make healthy living a piece of cake… healthy cake that is!

Sort out your social scene

Numerous research studies show people with strong social support are much more successful at health and lifestyle change.

Support from your friends, family or workmates can really make the difference in reaching goals. Try to find someone who can engage on a regular basis and provide encouragement when you are struggling. Look for others with similar health goals. Then you can support and hold each other accountable throughout your journey.

If you have a hard time finding a buddy or cheerleader, join the Wellvess program and share your experiences with the live forum. There are plenty of like-minded people to chat with, offer support and to help you celebrate your wins!

The other important aspect of your social scene is identifying who will negatively influence you. Think how you will manage those influences. Do you need to keep away from particular people in the early days of making changes? Or could you speak with these people about being supportive and how their actions negatively affects you?

Look inside yourself

Thoughts influence our feelings and behaviours. Sometimes our thoughts are unhelpful and directly lead to unhealthy actions. Other times they help us stay on track.

Our thoughts usually arise in response to a trigger event, such as something someone said to us, or an experience that day. Although our thoughts often happen quickly, and appear to be reality, they are just our perceptions. We are not our thoughts and we can choose whether we want to keep a thought or replace it.

For example, people all have stressful days. However, one person may think “I’ve had a hard day, I deserve a treat” and choose to comfort eat. Another may think “I’ve had a hard day, a nourishing cup of herbal tea and my favourite magazine will make me feel better” and choose to unwind in a healthy way.

The key is to consider your thoughts, how they make you feel and whether they lead to negative or positive behaviour. It may help to write down your thoughts in a journal. If you notice negative thoughts are leading away from your goal, try to think of a positive alternative that would lead to positive feelings and healthy behaviours.

Now… get ready to start making some changes! And remember that even if things don’t always go to plan, you are continuously learning and always one step closer to your goal than yesterday :)


Written by Shivaun Conn
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist

Published by Wellvess Arthritis Vitality Program

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August 10th, 2015|

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