We all have good intentions when it comes to eating perfectly, exercising frequently, and making time to find our Zen. Yet after a while, all this "trying" can get overwhelming — and we're bound to slip up. The important thing to remember in these “I’ve messed up so I’m going to trash the entire day” moments is this: We can get back on track with our next decision.
It's easy in theory — the next time you eat an entire package of cookies instead of the three you had planned on eating, simply commit to making a better choice at your next meal. Although even this can be challenging to put into practice, as with everything, healthy living is easier if you break it down into baby steps. Here are 10 ways to get back on track when life derails you:
1. Laugh at yourself.
See your own patterns and, instead of beating yourself up again, LAUGH at yourself. It's the smallest step of them all but can help lead to big change. Stop the stress, refocus, and find the humor in daily life.
2. Add IN!
If the thought of removing things you enjoy — that glass of wine at night or decadent coffee concoction in the morning — feels too depressing, start small and add in the health wherever possible. Enjoy the wine, but add in a glass of water alongside it. Don't run out and invest in a fancy gym membership today; just commit to start skipping the elevator and choosing the stairs instead.
3. Enjoy your life.
We usually get off track with our good intentions because life gets in the way. It's okay to pause and enjoy your life. Everyone needs a break; give yourself one, savor it, and move on.
4. Be selfish.
Whenever possible, put your health and yourself first. When you first begin this habit, it may feel wrong, but the longer you practice it, the more you will see the positive ripples it sends out into the world. A healthier you is a happier you, and this undoubtedly positively has an impact on those around you.
5. Walk more.
This is literally the smallest step you can take, which will make the biggest impact on your overall health. Walk during conference calls. Walk down the hall instead of sitting while sending an email. Walk while you're brainstorming for the next pitch or email you have to send.
6. Incorporate as much play into your life as possible.
Join the work softball team. Create a recreational kickball team. Go to the playground with your kids and actually play with them.
7. Challenge yourself to de-convenience your life.
Things designed to make our lives easier — remote controls, grocery delivery services, and restrooms on every floor of the office building or home — are just opportunities to remain sedentary, thus are negatively affecting our health. Keep the remote control across the room from where you sit to watch television. Pretend the closest restroom is out of order. The more inconvenient you make your life, the more steps you will end up taking during your day.
8. Order small.
Craving French fries from your favorite fast-food joint? Great! Order a small. Ice cream with the kids? Small again! Make small your default. It might seem like an insignificant habit to create, but it's one little thing you can fall back on that will keep you from feeling deprived but also won't make you feel like a glutton.
9. Make healthy meals the easy option.
Find four or five healthy meals and make these your mindless go-to's. Set yourself up for success and always have ingredients for these healthful meals on hand.
10. Make time to relax.
We are all guilty of making mountains out of molehills. Our problems always seem bigger than everyone else's. We think, It's harder for us. We have no time. We're tired. Why is it so hard? Why do we stress so much? Take a step back, practice gratitude, and relax. Part of living your healthiest includes reducing your stress, so why stress about being healthy?