I keep saying it, so it won’t hurt to say it again. If you want to be a fit and healthy person, you’re going to have to start behaving the way fit and healthy people behave. I came up with 7 things that fit/healthy people do as part of their daily and weekly routine that others often don’t. Incorporating these habits into your daily life is the critical difference between “being on a diet”, and “being a fit, healthy person”. The first is temporary, and usually results in disappointment and frustration. The second is permanent and results in a true change. The kind of change that stays with you forever.
Ready to make a change? Here’s your checklist!
1) Fit/Healthy people believe movement is mandatory.
Fit, healthy people understand that movement is an important part of feeling great. No question, exercise can be tough. If you view it as a “take it or leave it” activity, you’re probably going to choose to leave it. If you view it as a mandatory part of your day or week, you’ll make it happen — because responsible grown-ups do things they don’t like, sometimes. (Like go to work, pay taxes, mow the lawn, and…. go to the gym).
2) Fit/Healthy people schedule their workouts
Fit, healthy people know the exact days and hours that they go to the gym. It’s blocked off on their calendars. It’s set. And in the event that they miss a workout due to a conflict, they make it up. Because fit, healthy people make working out a priority (See #1, above), skipping a workout altogether is unthinkable.
3) Fit/healthy people set goals, and accomplish them
Fit, healthy people are always working towards something. Simply going to the gym is a start, but fit, healthy people do more than that — they show up to the gym with a list of the things they’re going to accomplish already written down, or in their head. They know how long they’ll work out, they know what they’ll be working on, but more importantly, they know WHY they’re working on those things! Having a plan and a purpose to the visit means they never phone it in, or just “go through the motions”. Fit, healthy people are there to ACCOMPLISH something, not simply be there.
And do you know what fit, healthy people do when they set out to accomplish something they’re not very good at? They keep at it, until they are. They literally “fake it ’till they make it.”
4) Fit/healthy people love food and eat healthy
I’ve eaten a lot of meals with fit, healthy people. Except on rare and special occasions, fit, healthy people tend to avoid heavy foods, generally don’t order a whole lot, and almost always skip dessert. (Back when I was fat, I don’t think I ever did any of those things). Fit, healthy people have a relationship with food that allows them to both enjoy what they eat, while simultaneously understanding the connection between what they eat, and how they feel. Fit, healthy people know that if they eat bad, they’re going to feel bad.
Fit, healthy people avoid foods that harm their bodies. They use exercise, not food, to reduce stress and get through emotional difficulties.
5) Fit/healthy people treat themselves
Fit, healthy people can overeat on Thanksgiving or drink too much at a party. Life isn’t fun without a little excess on occasion! But instead of using food as a reward, healthy people reward themselves with experiences. How about a 90-minute massage or a weekend getaway to thank yourself for all the hard work that got you where you are today? Next time you reach a milestone, treat yourself to a mani-pedi instead of a piece of chocolate. Populate your reward system with experiences that make you a better person, help you relax, or engage your mind!
6) Fit/healthy people sleep
Lack of sleep can destroy your metabolism, your ability to think, and put you in a bad mood. Because fit people exercise, they burn off most of the stress that keeps other people up at night. When fit, healthy people have had a rough day — they exercise, or go to a yoga class. They understand that rest, just like exercise, is a critical component to feeling good.
7) Fit/healthy people don’t make excuses
Fit, healthy people understand that their current situation (whatever it happens to be) is their own responsibility. They don’t blame others, they don’t blame their genetics, and they don’t blame society. They own their problems, they own the consequences, and they also reap the rewards when they achieve their goals. Fit, healthy people understand that while each of our circumstances are different, the playing field is level, and we each choose what to make of ourselves with the time we are given.