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Better health doesn’t come without hard work

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

Have you ever heard the expression “anything worth having is worth working for”?

A lot of people say they would like to lose some weight, eat healthier, get some exercise, but saying you want to do it and actually committing to do the work required are two different things.

Think of the things in your life that you have worked hardest for and are most proud of. It may be your education, your career, or your children. All of them required some effort, and I will bet that it wasn’t always an easy road. You probably dealt with pain, confusion, and setbacks along the way, but you were able to accomplish what you wanted to do. You can do the same with your health. These tips can help:

Visualize

What will your life look like when you have achieved your goals? Will you spend less money on medications? Will you feel stronger and more energetic? Will you fit into a smaller size?

Research

Talk to your doctor about healthier choices. Ask friends what they do to stay healthy. Visit an exercise facility and find out what they have to offer. Subscribe to a health-focused magazine or e-newsletter.

Prepare and plan

If you need to exercise more, get out your calendar and decide when and where it’s going to happen. Write it down. If healthier eating is your goal, do some meal planning and make a grocery list for the healthy foods you will purchase.

Start small

Choose one or two small changes and work on them for awhile. Choose a couple more when you feel confident that you can stick with those changes. Success breeds confidence, and that confidence will encourage you to attempt other things.

 Find support

Share your plan with others. Find people who have similar goals and hang out with them. Talk to your pastor or another trusted adviser and ask for their help. The more people who know what you are doing, the more you will feel obligated to achieve.

  Persevere

You won’t always have a perfect day of eating, and you may miss an occasional workout, but don’t let it get you down. Resolve to do better the next time.  

You will have to make changes if you want to improve your health, and change is not easy for many people. You might need to do things that initially feel uncomfortable or awkward, but if you are willing to put forth the effort required, the rewards can be enormous. Time to go to work.

 

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