What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you?
Sometimes this concept seems so LOADED, doesn’t it? Almost as if it’s cliché or expected that EVERYONE follow the same guidelines to be healthy and if you aren’t you are being judged and not following the social pressures that are expected of you…
F-that! Shut that NOISE OFF! Let’s get real, let’s get SASSY and let’s talk about how you can make your lifestyle healthy now…in a way that is authentic to you!
Defining what it means to be healthy
According to Merriam-Webster, “healthy” is defined as:
- A) enjoying good health, B) not displaying clinical signs of disease of infection
- Beneficial to ones physical, mental or emotional state: conducive to or associated with good health or reduced risk of disease
- Showing physical, mental, or emotional well-being: evincing good health
- Prosperous, flourishing; not small or feeble: considerable
Nowhere in there does it say that healthy looks or feels a certain way. Therefore, why do we put pressure on ourselves around what healthy means?
In its simplest form, healthy means “enjoying good health”. Assuming you are like most women, you desire to live a long life! Being healthy just means taking care of yourself so you can enjoy many years on this Earth. You can’t argue with that right?
You don’t have carte blance to throw your hands up in the air and say, “I’m happy! I’m doing anything I want!”
That said, living a healthy lifestyle does require effort. You don’t have carte blanche to throw your hands up in the air and say, “I’m happy! I’m doing anything I want! I’m healthy!”.
We want you to BE YOUR OWN HERO and take charge of your healthy lifestyle. We want to teach you the ways you can practice this lifestyle that are simple, sustainable & fun. You are Sassy AF and when you are healthy, you shine!
Tip 1: Decide what your goals are
We can’t emphasize this enough. HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY! You have to set goals in all aspects of your life to achieve the results you want. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you have to decide what your goals are.
Some questions to ask yourself:
What do I want out of a healthy lifestyle?
What does healthy look like to me?
What changes (if any) do I need to make to reach my goals?
Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
Achievable (agreed, attainable)
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
For example, if healthy lifestyle means eating healthy 75% of the time, and you realize you are not currently doing this, then utilize SMART to start! One way to eat healthier is to prepare more of your own food and eat out less. Here’s how we can break that down:
S: Practice intentional meal prep
M: I will pack my lunches Monday through Friday
A: I will buy groceries for those lunches on Saturday or Sunday
R: Packing my lunches 5 days per week will help me be intentional about meal prep
T: Monday through Friday I will know what I am eating and give myself more flexibility on the weekend
When you DECIDE how you can be healthier and really understand what changes need to be made in your life, you can TAKE ACTION to make the necessary changes.
Please note that there is no “one size fits all” to living a healthy lifestyle. There are many options and you have to navigate what will work best for YOU. If you need suggestions or resources, reach out to us via e-mail and we will be happy to help you!
Tip 2: Educate yourself
Now that you have decided what SMART goals you want to work on first, you have to start learning! Living a healthy lifestyle is not necessarily intuitive. Depending on your upbringing, your social circles and your interests, you may find you are at a loss when it comes to knowing what you need to know!
Not to worry Sister! We are here for you.
Did you know that there is a PLETHORA of free resources for you? Of course, we want Sassy Healthy Fit to be your go to, but we are not the expert in everything so let’s talk about some other ways you can start learning.
YouTube: Did you know that 300 hours of video are uploaded EVERY MINUTE? Seriously! Every minute! That is astounding. Don’t worry–we don’t want you to get analysis paralysis, but use this awesome tool to get your knowledge on. YouTube is essentially a search engine, so look up “How do I get healthy” and you will be shown thousands of options!
Podcasts: Wow! There are so many podcasts available on pretty much any topic you can imagine. Check out this awesome list of the top ranked health related podcasts to get started. Note that the number one spot goes to Jay Shetty’s “On Purpose with Jay Shetty”. This is all about mindset and mental health…nothing to do with nutrition and exercise (we love that! It all starts with your mindset!).
Books: There is this amazing place anywhere you live…called a library! Have you discovered it yet? They have thousands of books available for FREE! In all seriousness though, books are one of the best ways to learn. Whether you prefer a physical book, an audiobook or a digital download…start reading Girl!
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may get a bad rap sometimes, but the amount of goodness out there is unbelievable. When you are intentional with the content you seek, you can learn TONS of great information on your healthy lifestyle journey from a little scrolling.
Join a Group: You might be thinking, “All this sounds great, but I just want someone to talk to about my questions!”. Great! Have you checked out www.meetup.com? There are local events all the time and you can definitely find others interested in learning about healthy lifestyle. Or join a Facebook group like ours to have a virtual community you can talk to.
The point is, never underestimate the power of knowledge. Learning is how we grow. When we learn, we feed our minds. When we feed our minds we are armed with everything we need to be successful.
Tip 3: Make it REAL
You know your SMART goal–check!
You educated yourself so you are ready to attack that goal–check!
Now you have to start making your healthy lifestyle REAL. If you want to make it real…write it down and put it into action.
Do you keep a journal? If yes, your journal is a great place to write down your goals daily. When you write them and see them you are more likely to achieve them.
Writing down your goals helps solidify them in your brain, therefore increasing the likelihood of achieving them. According to Mark Murphy (CEO of Leadership IQ), you are 1.2 to 1.4 more times likely to successfully accomplish your goals when you write them down and visualize them.
A vision board is another best practice for visualization. Cut out pictures from magazines, print pictures from the internet, take pictures when you are out and about and get them printed. Put them on a big poster board (tap into your inner-little girl and get all crazy creative!) and make it look beautiful!
You can also write your goals on your bathroom mirror (use a cheap lipstick or dry-erase marker!) so you see it every time you go to the bathroom (and if you are always hydrating, this will be often!).
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
Here’s the next step to making your goals REAL and taking real action toward living a healthy lifestyle… you have to own it. You have to share it! Say it out loud and tell those in your life what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”–Brene Brown
If you are brave enough to be publicly vulnerable in your goals and achievements, post about it on social media. Chances are you will get a TON of support from your friends, loved ones and followers. And by sharing your story, you will inspire others to practice their healthy lifestyle as well.
However, if you are more private, that is OK! You can share and be vulnerable with those close to you in your life. By sharing your experiences, you will increase your chances of success. When you stumble along the way (because, Girl, it’s going to happen!) those you have shared with will help lift you up.
You don’t live in a silo. What did we say before about healthy lifestyle taking effort? You need support. You need encouragement. Embrace this and don’t be afraid. YOU GOT THIS!
Tip 4: Take action
You are doing so great and if you have made it this far, you are on your way to living your healthy lifestyle!
How do you turn your SMART goals, education and vision board into progress? You take action. And, guess what? It’s going to be MESSY ACTION.
Messy action requires showing up EVERY DAMN DAY.
Yes!!!! This is our favorite part because it’s a journey everyday! And it’s so exciting. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, it starts in your mental space and it’s a wild ride. Are you ready for it???
Get out that calendar and start blocking off time to put those measurable tactics into place. Re-tune your mind to ditch old ideas of perfectionism and ramp up your mindset to accept this as a growth journey…not a goal destination.
We said it earlier and we will say it again…healthy lifestyle starts with your mindset. You have already decided that this is the space you want to live in (and we are soooo glad you did!). Now you have to know that there are going to be some moments of discomfort.
In order to grow, we have to be willing to make changes. Change can be scary AF, but it’s also awesome, exhilarating and so rewarding. The only thing you need to remember is that living a healthy lifestyle is just that…a lifestyle. This is a forever-plan. Not an “I need to lose 10 pounds before my beach vacation” plan.
Messy action requires showing up EVERY DAMN DAY. Giving your best effort and having grace with yourself when you don’t succeed as much as you would like. Moving the needle forward by focusing on being 1% better each day.
That is the secret sauce. The cat’s out of the bag! You are SASSY AF and you need to embrace that. When you show up every day for yourself because you want to live your best life…Girl THAT IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS!
Tip 5: Reward yourself each step of the way
The human brain seeks out rewards for motivation. It’s pretty simple really. When you are rewarded for your behavior, you are more inclined to maintain the behavior.
This becomes especially important when you are seeking to make healthy lifestyle changes. Particularly if those changes are drastic, you will need to feel the benefits along the way. The journey is a long one, so make it more fun with little milestone markers along the way.
One important mindset shift you might face is non-food rewards. As kids, we were often told, “If you are well-behaved, you will get an ice cream cone.” Or something to that effect. We become accustomed to turning to food, especially treats, as rewards.
How can you make the adjustment to find validation and rewards internally that are not food related?
Some examples of non-food rewards:
- Treat yourself to a spa service (massage, facial, mani/pedi)
- Buy yourself a new outfit or accessory
- Buy a new book to read or take yourself to a movie
- Celebrate your milestones with friends–a night out or a walk
- Download a new album to listen to
- Invite some friends over for a dance party
The possibilities are endless! The important point to remember is that you need to plan ahead to put rewards in place at particular milestone markers so you keep on motivating until it becomes a habit.
Remember, on average a habit takes at least 66 days to form. Therefore, leverage a reward system until the healthy lifestyle itself becomes the reward (when you start feeling better, more energized and see your skin glow you will know what we are talking about!).
Reward yourself for progress every step of the way. Living a health lifestyle is a journey, not a race. Enjoy the process and celebrate all of the milestones along your personal journey.
Positive people live longer lives and we want your glow to keep on shining!
You are Sassy AF and when you are healthy, you shine! Living a healthy lifestyle should fill you with joy, pride and excitement. We guarantee when you follow these steps, you will more energized, confident and positive.
Positive people live longer lives and we want your glow to keep on shining!
We would love to know how you are shifting your mindset and creating your healthy lifestyle today. Please comment below and share your favorite tip or add one of your own!
If you really loved this article, we would love a shout out on your favorite social media platform and please tag us (@sassyhealthyfit) so we can give you a big virtual hug!