Small Steps to Your Health
There are many things the "experts" tell us to do to prevent diabetes complications or type 2 diabetes: Choose healthy foods... make healthy meals... be active 30 minutes a day.
But where should you start? It's not easy to do all of this every day living in today's fast-paced and fast-food world. And it can be even harder if you have a lot of changes you want to make.
- One Step at a Time
It's easier to make lifestyle changes over months and years. Think of each small step as one piece of your effort to change your habits.
- Bad habits?
Accept that you have bad habits you need to change. If you believe you have a problem, you will probably succeed in making some changes.
- Ready, Willing and Able
To succeed at making lifestyle changes, the change must be important to you. For example, maybe you want to live long enough to see your grandchildren grow up. You must have more reasons to change than reasons not to change.
- Pick and Choose
Take what you want to do and break it down into small steps. Then think about a few things you are ready, willing, and able to change. Leave other habits that you don't feel ready to change for another time.
- Take a Look
Think about your current habits. How active are you? Pick some changes that you want to do the most and that will make the biggest impact. For example, take 15 minute break from the TV and go for a walk.
- Setting Goals
For each goal, think about four things:
- How long will you try to reach this goal? Keep it short.
- How often will you do this?
- Is it easy to do in your regular daily life? Keep it realistic.
- Is it limited in scope? Be specific.
Set 1 to 3 goals at a time. For example: for the next month (how long), four days each week (how often) I will take a 15 minutes walk after lunch three days a week (realistic and specific). Write them down. Put them in a place where you will see them often—on the refrigerator, your bathroom or bedroom mirror, or in your purse or wallet.
Read more realistic tips on how to be more active.
- How Did You Do?
Once the time you set is over, look at the goals you set. Did you succeed? Did you set your sights too high? Did something happen in your life to keep you from being successful? If you were successful, give yourself a BIG pat on the back (or maybe a trip to the movies!).
Wait, you are not done!
Making a change for two weeks or a month does not mean that it will stick for life. It's so easy to slip back to your old ways. Practice the new habits faithfully. It will take months before they become your way of life.
If you weren't successful, try again. Revise your goals or choose easier ones. Make sure they contain the four parts of setting a goal that's within reach. Make sure you want to make changes in this area and that you believe you can.
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