How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle (And Maintain It!)

How to start a healthy lifestyle

Hey, I'm Emilie!

A certified life coach, meditation instructor, and spiritual entrepreneur. I’m here to help you create a vibrant life around your higher purpose and heart’s desires. 

A 7-Step Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Works!

Even those of us who weren’t very health-conscious before 2020 became more interested in living a healthier lifestyle since the pandemic hit.

But the question is: how do we first get started and then maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Well, that is what the 7-step formula I share in this article will help you to do.

This formula is part of a method I call The Ultimate Personal Development Plan. If you would like to have the full method – which you can use to improve all areas of your life, not just your health and fitness – you can grab your free copy here.

But for now, I’ll show you how you can apply parts of this method specifically to improve your health and fitness. I’ll also provide you with three additional tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle at the end of the article. 

The Ultimate Personal Development Plan

Personal Development Plan by Conscious Originals

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Step 1: Define What Isn’t Optimal

The first step is to think of and write down what isn’t currently optimal in your health and fitness. Ask yourself: why isn’t this area of your life a 10/10?

To give you an example, here’s what I wrote down:

  1.    I tend to have digestive issues.
  2.    I’m addicted to sugar.
  3.    I don’t move as much as I would like.

These are three things that aren’t optimal regarding my health and fitness. I invite you to do the same and write down all the reasons your health and fitness aren’t currently a 10/10.

Healthy Lifestyle Plan

Step 2: Describe the Ideal Scenario

Next, describe the ideal scenario. The easiest way to determine this is to look at what you wrote in step 1 and write down the opposite.

For example, I wrote:

My digestion is optimal.

I have no sugar cravings and rarely eat refined sugar, except on special occasions like birthdays and holidays.

I walk at least 10,000 steps a day and do forty-five minutes of cardio five times a week.

Step 3: Brainstorm Ways You Can Bridge the Gap

Next, look at what you wrote in steps 1 and 2, and brainstorm ways to bridge the gap between your current situation and the ideal scenario.

For example, regarding my digestive issues, what could I do to move toward having optimal digestion?

Well, I also know that sugar can destroy the gut, and since I eat a lot of it, I can assume that cutting down on my intake would most likely help.

Other things I could do are:

  • Perhaps eat slower and more mindfully.
  • Practice intermittent fasting
  • Test out removing the foods from my diet that are prone to causing inflammation – such as dairy and soy – for a few months to see if it helps.

Just list several ways you can begin to bridge the gap between your current situation and the ideal scenario, and you’re one step closer to making it happen.

How to live a healthy lifestyle

Step 4: Pick Something To Focus On for a Month

Next, choose one or two things that you will focus on for the next month.

It’s probably not a good idea to try to improve all aspects of your health and fitness at once. By trying to do everything at once, you risk feeling overwhelmed and discouraged and eventually give up.

We don’t want that.

I recommend starting with the one thing that you believe will have the most positive impact on your overall health and wellness.

In my case, I really need to move more. To bridge the gap between my lack of exercise and the ideal scenario, this month, I’ll join a 30-day online fitness challenge.

What about you?

Building a healthy lifestyle

Step 5: Define the Micro-Actions

Once you have defined what you’ll focus on for the month, determine the micro-actions you need to take to achieve it.

For example, if I decide to do a 30-day online fitness challenge, I’ll need to:

  • First, find a challenge. I’ll need to do a Google search and perhaps ask my friends for recommendations.
  • Once I’ve found a challenge, I’ll need to enroll.
  • Next, I’ll need to make sure I have all the equipment required to do the challenge.

As another example, let’s say you also want to exercise more and decide to start going to the gym. Well, you’ll probably need to:

  • Look for a gym in your area and perhaps visit a couple of those gyms.
  • Get a gym membership.
  • Buy running shoes.
  • Make an appointment with a trainer to create your exercise program.

 Think of and list all of the micro-actions you must take to start reaching your goal.

Step 6: Schedule the Micro-Actions

Next, schedule the micro-actions. Open your planner and decide what you will do:

  • This month
  • This week
  • Tomorrow

For example:

This month, you could commit to going to the gym four times a week and run on the treadmill for thirty minutes each time.

This week, you could find a gym and get a membership.

Tomorrow, you could stop by the mall to buy running shoes.

Healthier lifestyle

Step 7: Track Your Progress

Next, you’ll want to track your progress.

For example, if you decide to go to the gym four times a week, use a habit tracking app to track your progress. I use a magnetic board on my fridge and put an ‘X’ every time I meditate, take my vitamin D, exercise, and so on.

Tracking your progress will help you be consistent.

. . .

Essentially, this formula will help you to define what you need to do to bridge the gap between your current situation and the ideal scenario.

I didn’t fully elaborate on setting goals and building habits because it could be an entire blog post in itself, but those areas are covered in The Ultimate Personal Development Plan.

Now, let’s look at three tips to help you stay motivated and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy lifestyle tips

Tip 1: Do Monthly Challenges

The first tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to do monthly challenges.

I’ve written an article about how to use 30-day challenges to improve your health and wellness. I highly recommend reading them because, in my opinion, challenges are one of the best ways we can build and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

What I mean by 30-day challenges is, for example, a 30-day green smoothie challenge, a 30-day intermittent fasting challenge, or a 30-day fitness challenge.

Challenges help build self-trust. Each time you complete a challenge, you build trust in yourself that you are the type of person who succeeds and follows through.

You also build willpower (self-discipline and self-control) by completing these challenges. Willpower is like a muscle: each time you complete a challenge, you strengthen your willpower muscle. This extra willpower stays with you even after the challenge and it then becomes easier to say no to the cake or to head to the gym instead of watching TV.

Lastly, if you do a health and wellness challenge every month, after a few months you’ll have changed your identity and/or self-image: you’ll have begun to perceive yourself as a healthy person and will naturally make healthier lifestyle choices overall.

How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

Tip 2: Find an Accountability Partner

The second tip is to find an accountability partner.

Whether you start going to the gym or decide to go thirty days without sugar, having an accountability partner will help you follow through on your commitment.

You can ask a friend to keep you accountable.

Make a deal with them: tell them that if you skip the gym or eat chocolate, you’ll give them fifty dollars. Your accountability partner could also do (but doesn’t have to do) the challenge with you. They can just be someone you report to every day or week.

Tip 3: Hire a Health Coach

Another tip is to hire a health coach.

If you have serious work to do to improve your health and fitness, and you can afford it, hire a health coach. A health coach will keep you accountable and help you stay committed and motivated. If you can afford it, it’s probably the best investment you can make.

There are tons of health coaches available both online and in-person. To find one, you can do a quick Google search or ask for recommendations in wellness-related Facebook groups.

. . .

Voilà! I certainly hope this information was helpful.

Again, I encourage you to grab your free copy of The Ultimate Personal Development Plan to help you achieve your goals and aspirations in all major areas of your life. 

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