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    Is it Really So Difficult to Change a Lifestyle?

    The contemporary lifestyle is generally not conducive to healthy living. People drink too much, eat too much, and some even smoke too much. In addition, most live in daily stress with sleep deprivation. Furthermore, many rely on caffeine and medications to keep them alert and functional. The good news is that many are aware of the need to change lifestyle for the better. The bad news is that it is difficult to change lifestyle: bad habits are easy to form, but difficult to eradicate.

    But is it really so difficult to change lifestyle?

    It is more than just willpower: you require strategies to change lifestyle.

    You need not only to resolve to make a change in your diet and lifestyle, but also to re-commit yourself on a regular basis with determination and perseverance. Taking the first step is diffcult, but none the less essential. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” So, take your first step, and do it NOW, not later. Procrastination is the enemy of change.

    Do not allow yourself to slack. A lifelong commitment to change means lifelong healthy living.

    Be positive, rather than be anxious or fearful. Positive reinforcement is more conducive to changing a lifelong habit than negative emotions of anxiety and fear. Break yourself of bad food habits for healthy living. Reward yourself with a healthy alternative, such as an activity (a facial, a massage, a symphony or an opera), instead of a food item. Rewarding yourself with food usually perpetuates the sin of food craving.

    Always set reasonable and achievable goals for changing a behaviour or life pattern. Without goals, there will only be excuses and procrastination.

    Give yourself positive personal affirmations and personal messages to increase self-esteem to change lifestyle. Always, visualize your success. Seeing is believing. Visual images may make you see your own future success in your mind’s eye.

    Change lifestyle gradually. Tackle just one major change at a time. Do not attempt to change everything overnight: this is often a recipe for failure. Take one step at a time, and small steps at that.

    Expect to slip from time to time. Relapse is only natural. It is human nature to err. Consider it a learning experience; recharge yourself immediately and move on. Do not look back; otherwise, you may experience guilt and inadequacy.

    Get support from family and friends. Do not strive to fight against all odds all by yourself. Sharing your struggle to change lifestyle is the key to success. Keep a daily journal to record all your health and weight problems, and note how they may be connected to your lifestyle.

    Observe your emotional problems, if you have any, and see how they may be related to your social life or diet.

    If you think you need to change lifestyle, maybe you should. It is never too late to change for the better. It is your life ahead of you. Of course, on the other hand, if you don’t think you need to make any change to your current lifestyle, it is your perception and your choice too.

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