What helps people make lifestyle changes successfully?
If there is a change that can be made easily, make it and celebrate your progress. Then, move to the next one. If you have a setback and slip back to old habits, move back to your healthy habits as soon as possible and keep moving forward. Changing to a healthy lifestyle will take time, practice and effort, but the benefits are worth it. If you can’t do it perfectly, guess what? Nobody can, but everyone who puts in serious effort will see benefits!
Food and cooking education
Most people decide what to cook based on convenience or taste. These are important, but if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes it's even more important to consider your health. This means learning how to make healthier choices at the grocery store and in the kitchen. Your doctor may recommend nutritional counseling, because there will be old habits that need to be replaced.
One place to start is books, magazines and websites that deal with healthy cooking. You may also find community, social events or meet-up groups that deal with nutrition and healthy eating.
Community of health-minded people
One key way to boost your progress toward a healthy lifestyle is having support from others who are doing the same thing. What works for another person may not work for you, but other people may still provide encouragement and great ideas to try.
Meditation has been found to be helpful with stress reduction, making lifestyle changes, as well as boosting overall happiness.
Looking at the big picture
If you're adopting a healthy lifestyle, you may feel like you're giving things up when you “trade out” unhealthy choices for healthier ones. But this is only partly true. Making healthy choices means you're trading unhealthy options for a better life.
Notice the Quick Pay-Offs
When you're diabetic, eating foods that don't cause a sudden spike in blood sugar can make you feel good -- a quick healthy lifestyle pay-off.
Celebrate Your Improvements and Progress
In a matter of days or weeks, that better life may mean being more active and benefitting from your improved mood and happiness.
In a matter of months or years, that better life may mean looking and feeling better, and enjoying it.
In a matter of decades, that better life may mean being there for those you love and feeling grateful for the investment you made in your health. You gave yourself and those you love more quality years together.
This content was last reviewed August 2015.