Deciding to live a more positive, healthy lifestyle is certainly a rewarding choice to make.
However, once you’ve decided to commit yourself to this particular form of living, the question
becomes, how do you keep up?
You’ve been making ineffective decisions for x amount of years, and now suddenly, everything
is supposed to change.
*How do you kick your bad habits while learning to adapt to the good ones?
*How do you know if you’re on the right track?
*How do you prevent yourself from backsliding into your old ways?
“Once you’ve decided
to commit yourself
to a more positive,
how do you keep up?”
These are all very valid points to consider.
When trying something new, it can all be very scary and confusing.
Wanting to make the right decisions for your life and those you support, you try as you may to press forward.
But what happens if you lapse?
Maybe you want to become vegan but slipped up one evening and had a burger?
Or what if you relapse?
You’ve just finished a drug rehab program for addiction, yet when you got home you started using again?
What do you do then?
Lifestyle Changes Aren’t Easy
First let me start by pointing out that any significant change to your lifestyle is going to be a challenge.
Whether you’re choosing to eat healthier, stop drinking alcohol, exercise more, manage your finances
more effectively, or even being devoted to your religion… you’re going to face obstacles, trials, and
tribulations along the way.
Knowing that this is going to occur can sometimes minimize the fears you have and allow you to keep
Creating a Plan of Action
Without a plan, failure is likely imminent.
Therefore, if you’re serious about committing yourself to a particular lifestyle change, you will have to
put forth a plan of action to stay on track.
Certainly you can’t plan for everything that may come your way.
However, having a sense of what you’re supposed to do and how you’re going to do it can make getting
there a lot easier to manage.
“If you’re serious about
to a particular lifestyle change,
you will have to create a
plan of action to stay on track.”
Here are some suggestions on how to develop your own plan for change:
• Be aware of your triggers
What triggers you to want to return to your old ways?
For someone who is suffering from drug addiction, it might be hanging around a particular crowd of people.
Whereas for someone who is overweight and trying to manage their health better, the trigger could be the
vending machine in their office, or simply feeling bored.
Whatever your triggers are, you need to learn what they are so that you can either
1. Avoid them, or
2. Find ways to resist the temptation.
• Set goals for yourself
What must be understood is that no change will happen overnight.
You need to set realistic goals for yourself that allow you to progress every day.
When it comes to setting goals consider the SMART concept.
Essentially it means setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
• Reward yourself
As you accomplish the goals you have set, you must learn to give yourself a pat on the back.
Remember change is challenging and it does take time.
So in the mean time, you should reward yourself for the progress you have made.
Whether you treat yourself to a nice lunch, outfit, or something else you’ve been longing for,
it’s a great way to say, “I’m proud of me.”
It is also a great method for keeping you from going back to your old ways.
You’re probably wondering how in the world this one made it to the list, but it’s a great way
to avoid relapse no matter what you’re trying to accomplish.
Exercise for addictions is a natural and effective method for improving overall mood and
Exercise is also a great activity to distract the mind from all that’s going on.
Whether you hit the gym, jog around, or play a sport, staying active can really keep your
mind off of old habits.
• Ask for guidance or additional help
Sometimes making a lifestyle change can be too much to bear on your own.
In this case, talking with someone who is experienced in the area you’re trying to improve
For instance, the site http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/referring-professionals-guide/ talks about
how those suffering from addiction can reach out to their doctors for advice, support, and
While it may be awkward asking for help from others, this is ultimately what they are there for.
Keep in mind that getting help is not about being a failure; it’s about being mature enough to
recognize you want to change but can’t do it alone.
“Getting help is not about
being a failure.
It’s about being mature enough
to recognize you want to change
but can’t do it alone.”
When you’ve decided you’ve had enough of the past decisions you’ve made for your life, making a
positive change is the next best thing.
With change will certainly come some ups and downs, lapses and potential relapses, but as long as
you press forward eventually you can accomplish your goals.
Creating an effective plan of action and reaching out to professionals for help are both mechanisms
that can be used repeatedly to help you get from point a to point b.
What’s most important about change is having a positive attitude and the will to succeed.
Have you ever set critical goals and made significant changes in your life?
What are your suggestions for achieving positive lifestyle changes?
Share your experiences, thoughts and comments with us.