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Anytime you try to break or form a new habit, you may go through a period of time where the transition feels tough. Some habits are very easily formed, like stopping for fast food on the way home from work. Or maybe your bad habit is sleeping in too late because your schedule allows it. Whatever it is, eventually we all hit a point where we realize that habit must change for our own good.

The beginning stage of any transition between two things can be rough. But when doubts are filling your head, there is one key element to remember- stay positive. This is especially true in regards to making something as drastic as a lifestyle change. Making the decision to eat healthy and exercise is in fact a lifestyle change. Your energy levels will increase, your mood will enhance, your physique will improve and your strength with sore. With all of those amazing benefits come a few challenges as well; you may find yourself making sleep a priority instead of an option, which could mean missing out on a few late night parties. You might have to spend an extra hour in the kitchen preparing meals for the week ahead. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found yourself spending more free time in the gym than watching the television!

As you can probably see, all of those “sacrifices” are not distractions from your life, but they’re actually improvements. Developing those healthy habits could be tricky at first but just like all other habits are formed, practicing them consistently will help turn them into instinct. Here are some tips on how to stay positive through your transition.

  • Focus on your new healthy lifestyle one day at a time. Around 60% of Americans don’t even get the recommended amount of physical activity daily, so start with just a couple hours of exercise per week and slowly increase over time.
  • In addition to helping reach our fitness goals, research shows that a positive attitude can add years to our lives. Be grateful to your body every day for being able to perform physical tasks. Taking the time to appreciate what you can do will increase your optimism.
  • To see improvements in your health daily, do small things like drinking more water. Even the slightest dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3% or more and if you want to lose weight, the water will inhibit your body from burning fat.
  • Have a balanced diet of all three macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. People often abandon healthy eating because they adopt an approach too strict for their lifestyle. Eat in a way that works for you so that staying positive is easy.

Enjoying what you do in life is just as important as anything else. If you don’t see results as quickly as you would like, remember that this is a lifestyle and not just a short-term change. A positive attitude will keep your perspective in the right direction and living a healthy lifestyle will feel much more purposeful. Engage in physical exercise and clean eating with a good attitude and you will surely reap many benefits!