Summer is on its way and it is vitally important that you set some goals that are going to excite you and enable you to embrace a healthy lifestyle that will allow a great balance over the next few months. It is equally important that you map out the process from beginning to end in order to have ongoing success. Creating healthy habits over the summer months means that you can not only enjoy yourself to the fullest, but also enjoy yourself without worrying too much that you will go backwards on your goals.
Healthy Summer Habit # 1 – Set some goals
“Setting a goal is not the main thing, it is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan”
Really define what you want to achieve
You really need to quantify what it is that you are looking to achieve with your health and fitness over the summer period. You want to lose weight, get fitter, put on muscle? How do you want that to feel? How do you feel now? What size clothes do you want to fit into? What changes are required in your everyday life to make this happen? All of this needs to be written down, and you really need to connect with your goal on an emotional level. This will not only excite and motivate you, but also enable you to have a really clear representation of what you want to achieve.
Breaking your overall goal down into smaller chunks makes it easier to comprehend and achieve. Break it down into monthly and weekly goals. What days of the week will I be exercising? How long for?
Make it SMART – What is SMART?
SPECIFIC – Who, What, Where, When, Which, Why all need to be answered
MEASURABLE – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set
ACHIEVEABLE – Is this something I can see myself achievable? Believe you can and you will
REALISTIC – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be
TIME-BOUND – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency.
Stay committed to the process, understand that it will get a result and follow through, this is one of those healthy summer habits that can make or break your level of success.
Healthy Summer Habit #2 – Eat Regularly, eat green and understand what the impact of food has on your body
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison”
It is often said that regardless of your goal, 70% of the result that you are looking to achieve will come down to the nutritional side of things. What you eat is crucial to your success, and it does not matter whether or not you want to lose weight, put on weight, run a ½ marathon, bulk up, tone up or even get more energy, what you put into your mouth is going to have a huge impact on your results.
Do you know why your body needs carbohydrates? Do you know what a carbohydrate is? Are you aware of the importance of protein and fat in your daily food intake? Knowing the answers to questions like these allows you to take control of your nutrition. If you want health and fitness to become a habit, then taking ownership of your nutrition is very important.
To get your metabolism working efficiently, you need to ensure that you are eating every 3-4 hours, and eating the right food. Load up on fantastic green leafy vegetables throughout the day, cut out the processed food and sugar and you will be amazed at how quickly you will notice a result!
Making your food interesting and exciting is a great way to stay on top of your goals. It is much more motivating to look forward to a meal than to eat the same thing day in and day out. Whilst this can work for some people, for a lot of people they require variety. For those who say they are not very good cooks? What a fantastic opportunity to learn a new skill. Embrace this as one of your healthy summer habits and you cannot go wrong!
Healthy Summer Habit #3 – Exercise Regularly
“Those who think they have no time for exercise, will eventually find time for illness”
It is very hard to develop a habit if you are only doing something every now and then. That habit of checking your phone every 5 minutes? That would not have occurred if you only had access to your phone twice a week. It is exactly the same with exercise. If you want to ensure that you are going to make a lifestyle change, you need to make it a regular occurrence, and it needs to be at a time that will consistently work well for you. Do you always have afternoon/evenings of events? Probably not the best time to try and commit to exercise. We should all aim for a minimum of 4-exercise moments p/week!
You must also find the exercise that you are doing enjoyable, at the end of the day, the more you exercise, this higher the chance that it will turn into one of your healthy habits this summer. If you are dreading exercise every time that it comes around, you will always see it as a hassle and burden. To truly enable yourself to incorporate health and fitness into your life you must enjoy it! It does not have to be the treadmill, join a sports team, find an activity that you enjoy, and make sure that you do it regularly. Use the fantastic summer weather as an excuse to get outside!
Healthy Summer Habit #4 – Tell people, ask for help, and create a support network
“Surround yourself with great people and great things happen”
A way to not only make your lifestyle change enjoyable, but also provide an extra layer of accountability is involving people with similar interests. This allows you to build a support network because trying to do it all on your own is challenging. Talk to people who have completed a similar journey, ask a professional and seek out answers, you will equip yourself with the knowledge required to make a lifestyle change occur.
There will always be people in your life that hold you back or think that you do not need to do something. Common statements/questions that get heard include:
- You don’t need to lose weight; you look great as you are?
- Why would you do that much exercise, seems like hard work to me
- Geez you are lucky to find the time to do that
These statements, whilst not always meant to be dismissive, are. If you find that you have people that are consciously or sub-consciously holding you back, then you need to find a group of people that will do the opposite.
This is not to say that you need to eliminate these people from your life, but you need to make a conscious effort to surround yourself with people who are interested in your journey and can enable you to achieve it.
If you do not know what to do, do not know the process to undertake or are unsure of how to go about achieving your goal, then you must ask someone who does for help. A small investment in the short term will pay dividends in the long term.
Habit Summer Habit #5 – Mix it up, enjoy the food and embrace the process!
“Change is as good as a holiday”
Doing the same thing day in, day out is a recipe for disaster. It is incredibly hard to keep the motivation at a high level if you always eat the same food and do the same exercises. If you want the lifestyle change to work, you need to do different things regularly. Try new recipes, explore new movements, and try not to do the same thing for more than 4 weeks. Not only will you never get bored, but also your results will occur much faster! Take advantage of the summer weather and get outside!
There are hundreds of websites and restaurants that are targeting the healthier option these days and incorporate new places into your social life is exciting! Do not feel that your social life has to suffer because you are on a new health and fitness path. If you understand what you are eating and how it will impact your body, then it is easy to manage anything!
Find an event to train for and participate in, it will not only mix up your immediate training plan, but will also allow you to experience something new and keeps the body growing and developing.
Living a healthy lifestyle is more than focusing on a short-term solution, it is about making an ongoing commitment to yourself and the way you want to live your life. If you follow the 5 habits above, you will be on the way to not only turning your lifestyle around, but also giving yourself a great chance at ongoing success.
Do you have some healthy habits already in place for summer?
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