Updated: Apr 7
We have all reached that stage in our lives where we realize that we are not living as healthy a lifestyle as we would like to, and that we need to make a change. Whether it's working out more, going on a diet or getting more sleep, these changes never come as easy as we imagine. With that being said, here are the five most important things to consider when changing your lifestyle:
1. Making a lifestyle change takes time. Don't expect desired results instantaneously. Habits are not easy to change. It will take weeks, but may also likely take months, regardless of the task, to get any type of results you are hoping for.
2. Take it slow. Now that you've realized it is going to take time to change your lifestyle, it should be easier for you to take your time in doing so. Often people will try to rush the training to get quicker results. The outcome? It becomes too much change for your body to absorb in such a short amount of time that the lifestyle change you were hoping for quickly fails. You are much more likely to succeed if you work your way into this new routine slowly. Give your body time to become familiar with the new daily routine.
3. Find whatever works for you - not anyone else. People always seem to forget this one. Everyone has their own body, and their own routines. What helps someone else get in shape might not be the best technique for you. Taking suggestions from people that have been able to successfully maintain a healthier lifestyle is never a bad idea. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you will be able to follow in their footsteps. For some people, a calorie diet is what is best for them. But for other people, that might not be the best option. But there are tons of other diets out there for you to choose from, so you just have to be patient until you find the right one.
4. It won't be easy, so be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life.I would argue that, because of how long your consistency takes to reach your goal, maintaining a healthier lifestyle is one of the hardest jobs you will ever have. When you decide you need to make a change like this, you are basically saying that your normal routine is just not good enough to meet your goal. As I mentioned earlier, habits are habits and routines are hard to change. If you are not willing to put in the work consistently for a long period of time, it's going to be almost impossible to succeed. Your mind and body both have to be in the right place. So be prepared to work for it. As you ride along your journey to healthiness, imagine that goal of how much better you'll feel at the finish line when you are healthier than you have ever been in your life.
5. Be confident. You got this. This might be the most important rule of all. The biggest reason for failure in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is by those who doubt themselves. If you don't believe you can accomplish your goal, you won't. It's as simple as that. It's totally okay for you to pick a plan, work hard and realize it's not the right route for you to take in your route to healthiness. But with that being said, you can't just give up right there like so many do. You have to keep your head up and look elsewhere for inspiration. There is always a path for you to take and succeed in maintaining that healthy lifestyle. Believe in yourself and your success in doing so! If you envision your goal, you are way more likely to reach it.
You know that sleep is vital to your physical and mental health. But, how can you tell whether you’re truly sleeping well? Especially if you work shifts, your sleep probably does not look exactly like other peoples’ sleep. It can be hard to measure your sleep patterns against those of the people around you.
On average, adults should optimally receive between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, but those needs vary individually. For example, some people feel best with eight consecutive hours of sleep, while others do well with six to seven hours at night and daytime napping. Some people feel okay when their sleep schedule changes, while others feel very affected by a new schedule or even one night of insufficient sleep.
Here are some statements about your sleep. If these apply to you, it’s a good sign that your sleep is on track. If you’re a shift worker and you don’t agree with many of these, it could mean that you need to make changes in your behaviors and routines to improve your sleep.
You fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of lying down to sleep.
You regularly sleep a total of seven to nine hours in a 24-hour period.
While in your bed, your sleep is continuous—you don’t have long periods of lying awake when you wish to be sleeping.
You wake up feeling refreshed, as if you’ve “filled the tank.”
You feel alert and are able to be fully productive throughout the waking hours (note, it’s natural for people to feel a dip in alertness during waking hours, but with healthy sleep, alertness returns).
Your partner or family members do not notice any disturbing or out of the ordinary behavior from you while you sleep, such as snoring, pauses in breathing, restlessness, or otherwise nighttime behaviors.
Shift workers who try to sleep during the day often wake up after fewer than seven to nine hours, because of the alerting signals coming from their circadian system. This does not mean they don’t need seven to eight hours of sleep per day—it just means it’s harder to sleep during the day. Over time, this can lead to chronic sleep deprivation.