Creating the lifestyle you've always wanted requires discipline, but you don't have to jump in all at once. Whether you're trying to exercise more, quit bad habits, or eat more healthfully, these tips will get you started
Quit bad habits
The first step to creating an ideal lifestyle is quitting habits that no longer serve you. For example, many people start their lifestyle change by trying to quit smoking. According to the Australian Department of Health, this habit alone kills an estimated 15,000 Australians and costs Australia $31.5 billion in social, health, and economic costs.
Quitting a bad habit creates space in your life to enjoy other activities. For many, bad habits are expensive. Improve your finances and get more time to enjoy life by quitting any bad habit today.
Make small changes
Make lasting lifestyle choices with small changes over time. If you're trying to eat healthy, start with a simple change. For example, instead of overhauling your entire diet and feeling deprived, start by drinking less soda and more water. Accomplishing one small change gives you momentum to make larger changes. Once you've switched from soda to water, try reducing starchy carbs and replacing them with vegetables. You'll hardly notice these gradual changes, and it will help you curb cravings.
Set a small, measurable goal each month. In less than a year, you'll completely overhaul that area of your life. Each change brings you closer to your goal, and your lifestyle changes will feel like second nature. Avoid feeling deprived by making small, attainable changes.
Add something positive
Each time you remove something from your life, it leaves a void. If you're trying to quit a bad habit, add something positive as an exchange. If you cut back on the number of cigarettes you consume, save the money you would normally spend on cigarettes and spend it on a weekend trip as a reward. Stopped drinking soda? Replace it with a healthy cup of tea as a treat.
Establish goals for the lifestyle you want. If you want to quit smoking, what positive things do you want to add instead? Maybe you want to use that money to travel more, or perhaps you'll entertain more often to enjoy the clean air in your home. Others might want to use their newfound energy for hiking or sailing. According to Australia's National Health Survey, smoking leads to an "increased risk of a wide range of health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, renal disease, eye disease and respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis." Maybe you'll use your improved health to begin a new adventure. Whatever you choose, establish a goal that's meaningful for you. Whether you're trying to quit smoking, eat better, or find a better work-life balance, set a goal so you have something to work toward.
Tell your friends
If you don't tell anyone about your goals, it's easier to let them slip away. Tell your friends about your new goals and ask them to hold you accountable. It's even better if you can get someone to work toward a lifestyle goal with you! Do you want to exercise more? Find a friend who will go to the gym or take walks with you a few times a week. Share your experiences and let your friends encourage you. Your successes will positively influence those around you, and a supportive friend will put setbacks in perspective.
Whatever changes you make to improve your lifestyle, we're here to offer help and support. Contact us for advice, encouragement, and ideas for improving your lifestyle. Remove one bad habit and replace it with something positive for great results. If smoking is the habit you want to remove, download our checklist to see if you are ready to quit smoking.