Change is a lot easier when…

Ever notice that when people talk about making healthy changes, it often centers around what they’re eliminating?
“I’m not eating any white flour or white sugar.”
“I’ve cut out alcohol.”
“I’m on a Facebook fast.”
While those are worthy endeavors that people hope will be a catalyst to better health and maybe even weight loss, the excitement (i.e. ability to maintain willpower) doesn’t last long and they go back to their old behaviors, and the same old result.
So, for January I’m sharing with you my “Top 50 Healthy Adds” (you know, instead of focusing on what to subtract):

  1. Set an alarm to stand up and move every hour (sitting is the new smoking!)
  2. When you sit back down, exaggeratedly roll your shoulders forward then back
  3. Keep water or unsweetened tea at your desk
  4. Two extra minutes of walking when you go to the bathroom
  5. Take lunch away from the office (if you eat at your desk daily, start with once a week)
  6. Plan your exercise the night before
  7. A 10-minute back-up (for when something happens to derail your exercise plans)
  8. Open mail over the recycle bin
  9. Batch computer tasks, like email, so they don’t overtake your day
  10. Schedule appointments when they fit your rhythm
  11. Diced broccoli & cauliflower – easy to add to salads
  12. Morning glass of water – re-hydrate after a night’s sleep
  13. Smoothie – get lots of fruits & veggies with one “stone”
    Smoothe_Photo by Guillaume Jaillet on Unsplash
    Photo by Guillaume Jaillet on Unsplash
  14. Flax seeds – add to smoothies, cereal, and use in baked goods
  15. Use smashed banana as a sweetener for oatmeal, instead of sugar
  16. Spiralized zucchini – a veggie alternative to pasta
  17. Spaghetti squash – another “pasta” option
  18. Almonds – I love Trader Joe’s individual packets; I stash them everywhere
  19. Dried apple rings – another staple to have on hand
  20. Ever try nut cheese? Seriously.
  21. 30-second plank in the morning
  22. Eat within two hours of waking up
  23. 3-5 minutes of easy movement to work out the kinks each morning
  24. Read your vision first thing, then close your eyes and imagine how your day will unfold
  25. Say “let me get back to you” when you’re asked to do something
  26. Say “you could be right about that” rather than respond hotly to a heated situation
  27. Assume others are doing the best they can
  28. Assume you are, too
  29. Expect things to go well
  30. Finish the day expressing appreciation to your significant other or close family member
  31. Cook with olive oil
  32. Learn to use flax or chia seeds as “eggs” when baking
  33. Find one new healthy recipe that you and your household will enjoy
  34. Almond flour – look for a pancake recipe
  35. Turmeric – it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties (combine with black pepper for maximum benefit)
  36. A sleep mask to block out the light
  37. A yearly physical
  38. An uplifting podcast
  39. Dark chocolate (72% and up)
  40. Two minutes to your planned exercise (once you’ve done 30 minutes, what’s two more?!)
  41. Increase the intensity of your cardio workout once a week
  42. One more strength training exercise
  43. One more rep
  44. One more set
  45. Increase the weight 10% for one exercise
  46. A stretch for each muscle group you worked out
  47. A new class (or online video)
  48. A new cardio machine
  49. Active rest activity (brainstorm ways to be active during your day)
  50. A monthly massage – my favorite

It’s natural to want to eliminate unhealthy behaviors – it’s just that when we take extreme actions it can lead to feeling deprived and, ultimately, cause us to backlash (that’s code for pigging out and sitting on the couch).
When we add healthy, positive “things” they can gradually overtake the unhealthy habits we want to quit. Change is a lot easier when we focus on the additions.
If you want help in making lasting change, you know where to reach me. 😊

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