How To Stay Committed to Your Health and Happiness

For many people, knowing what they need to do to feel healthier and happier in their life is often a lot easier than actually following through with it.

I am sure you have experienced times in your life, or perhaps even currently, where you set a goal, made a resolution, devised a plan of action for your desires for yourself personally and/or professionally, and then before you know it, you are back to just thinking about it or it becomes a passing thought.

Perhaps your goal is to lose weight, be or eat healthier, be happier, walk or exercise more, make a certain quota, go on more sales calls, get projects completed, overcome a fear, spend more time with family or friends, or tackle your to-do list, etc.

You may even start off on your objective like you are off the runners mark before the gun is even fired. You have a plan and THIS time you are sticking to it, right?

Then before you know it, your momentum slows and then you stop working towards the goal you said you originally wanted.

The part of yourself I call “Victim Thinking” has entered the building, which in this case, would be your thoughts.

It’s that voice that says tomorrow you will start, or talks you out of what your plans are, or makes excuses, or on some level actually creates an occurrence to stall or set you back, or makes a non-believer out of the believer in you.

This voice can be conscious or unconscious. If you aren’t succeeding at your goal, you can bet that victim thinking is lurking in your thoughts and making other things more important than you, your happiness and well-being.

So how do you stay committed to living a healthier and happier life when that little voice you may or may not hear is trying to sabotage your results?

Become aware of your thoughts and/or excuses that are holding you back or getting in the way. When you are conscious of what’s stopping you, then it becomes easier to work with the thoughts instead of thoughts working against you.

If you have set a goal or devised a plan of action towards something, and if you aren’t following through with it, or something or someone (being you) gets in the way, then it’s time to call in the reinforcements and become liable. Not just once in awhile, but frequently.

Choose someone in your family, or a friend, or a coach, mentor or counsellor to help keep you on track and hold you responsible for what you say it is you are working towards.

You are more apt to stick to your goal(s) when someone is holding you accountable for them and cheering you on when you need it.

Set a date you wish to start, and not next month or year.

Create a plan of action. What steps are you going to take to accomplish what you would like?

Be reasonable about the actions you will be taking. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. When you succeed at the small steps towards your desired outcomes, then it’s a lot easier to believe it’s possible to now take and succeed at the larger ones.

Know when you or someone else needs to challenge you more as you can become idle in your thinking and way of doing things and may need to take steps to get moving again.

Congratulate yourself whether you are taking big or small steps. Some goals are harder than others and take time and persistence. Acknowledge your growth, commitment, and hard work.

Don’t beat yourself up if it takes you longer than you thought, or if you start and then stop and then start again. What’s important is you get right back to it.

Old habits and mind-sets are hard to break, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Don’t rush from one goal right to the next. Take time to enjoy the progress you have made and to make sure your next goals are in alignment with where you are now. What’s truly important for your continual growth, health and happiness?

The attempts you make are never failed ones if you are learning what isn’t working and then staying committed to discovering what does.

“When it is obvious the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”. Confucius.

Remember, don’t give up; try, try again. You CAN do it!

Using these techniques with insight will assist you in not only staying on track with your goals but making sure they are in harmony with you and your vision.

New Book Teaches How to Stay Healthy and Active Into Your Golden Years

In Building Your Enduring Fitness, Lisa Teresi Harris has written the book Baby Boomers and everyone from middle-age to centenarians have been waiting for. We all know exercise and nutrition are important, but all the health and fitness books and exercise programs out there seem to be geared toward the 18-40 age bracket. We all want to feel good long after that, but we may forget how important exercise and nutrition are as we age-not so we can look good at the beach like the younger generation wants, but so we can offset muscle loss, brittle bones, disease, and the belly fat that threatens to make us old before our time.

Harris has been a registered dietitian since 1978. As the owner of Enduring Fitness 4U, she provides senior exercise classes and in-home fitness training and nutrition coaching. As a result, she has the knowledge, skills, and positive mindset to help anyone improve his or her health, activity-level, and overall life satisfaction. She’s helped hundreds of people, and now she shares her lifetime of knowledge with her readers in this new book.

Getting into good shape and being healthy, however, is easier said than done. Some people might even think it’s impossible to slow down the aging process. Many people believe they are fated to be fat because their parents were fat, or to be diabetic, have heart disease, etc. However, research shows that genetics do not always have the final say. For example, Harris quotes a source that states “only about 10% of cases [with Alzheimer’s] carry the defective genes for the disease, and only half of those who carry the genes ever develop it. Most Alzheimer’s cases are caused by cumulative brain damage that occurs during life.” In other words, disability and disease are not inevitable, despite your genes.

For me, this book’s most important message is the need for us to get up and move. Harris asks us whether we are sabotaging our health by the number of hours we sit each day. It’s true we move less with Roombas and smart phone addictions and things delivered to our doors, so she encourages us to find ways we can move more, such as walking while talking on the phone.

And Harris’ results are astounding. She helps people who are prediabetic change their diets. She helps people with walkers regain mobility. She helps seniors strengthen their muscles and improve their balance so they can get up if they fall, and even better, avoid falling altogether. She also encourages people to find activities they enjoy. If you don’t like an activity, you won’t do it, so she shows us how to find our “exercise ecstasy.”

While exercise is important, so is nutrition. Harris gives guidelines for how to get the proper amount of fruits and vegetables into your diet. She offers advice on when to eat protein, how much of it to eat, and how to use it to the greatest benefit. Of course, she’s a big advocate of drinking water.

Many people will find invaluable the series of chapters titled “Building Up Your Defenses Against Chronic Diseases.” Here she talks about heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia, arthritis, and osteoporosis and how to improve your chances of not being diagnosed with any of them. She also explores how to live better if you already have them so they don’t impede your enjoyment of life.

One of the biggest challenges for most people is overeating. Harris realizes we are all human and not going to eat vegetables all the time without occasionally indulging. I love her advice on what to do when you go out so you don’t overeat or when you go on one of those cruises where you feel like you’re being held hostage by a breakfast buffet. Despite restaurant servings having increased in size, Harris gives solid advice on how to enjoy eating out without setting yourself back. At the same time, she believes in mindful eating-allowing yourself to enjoy food now and then. For example, she tells us: “Have that yummy ice cream cone when the urge hits; savor every mouthful, and then just move on. (This is an example of mindful eating-paying close attention to the moment and accepting your feelings, not trying to change them.)”

I’m only forty-six, but I loved Building Your Enduring Fitness because it made me realize I can take action now so that my senior years will provide me with the high quality of life I want. I used to exercise regularly but fell into a slump after my exercise bike broke a few months ago. Harris encouraged me to get back to doing push-ups and lifting weights and walking more, and even make some changes to how I eat. In just the few weeks since I started, I am already noticing results.

So get a copy of Building Your Enduring Fitness and then get up and get moving. The more you move, the longer, healthier, and happier your life will be.