Achieving a healthy lifestyle and maintaining it is tough.

You have to somehow find the time to do all those things that make us healthy while maintaining a career, taking care of your family, church/volunteer activities, and so on.

Combine that with the absolutely ridiculous amount of health information on the internet to wade through (yes, the irony of this statement and this blog is not lost on me), it just makes you want to say….

When we take a look at our to-do list, it’s no surprise that taking care of ourselves takes a back seat to everything else we have to do.

If nothing hurts and everything is working, I must be healthy right? No need to worry about it.

Well….not exactly.

Our bodies are amazing.  They will adjust and adapt to what we throw at them for as long as they can until it becomes too much to handle.  So, the time to take care of ourselves is now, not after something goes wrong.

It’s like a car.  The time to change the oil is not after it’s all gone and your engine has seized up. Instead, we all know we should change the oil on a regular basis before it becomes a problem.

So if you are trying to make your health a priority, here are few mistakes to avoid that will hopefully make getting healthier easier for you.

1. Not Having A Goal

I’m a pretty big fan of having goals, especially in the area of health.  So much so that a couple of my first blog posts are about setting goals (you can check those posts out here; part 1 and part 2).

Here’s the deal.

If you don’t have something you are working towards, then it becomes really easy for your health to fall to the wayside.

Like I mentioned before, the hard part about getting and staying healthy is making it a priority.

If you are working towards a goal, then your mind will have something to focus on and it will remind you to stick to the goal.

For instance, if your goal is to lose some weight, then you are much more likely to think twice about what you eat.

Now, it may not stop you from eating something unhealthy, but at least you’ll think about it which is better than not caring at all.

Your goal doesn’t always have to be about losing weight either.  You can set a goal to exercise every day for a certain number of days.

You can have a goal to lift a certain amount of weight during a particular exercise, like a bench press.  You can make a goal to complete a 5K or beat a previous personal-best time.

Just have a goal.

2. Jumping On The Latest Fad/Craze

Say it with me:

“There is no magical pill, exercise, shake, herb, or food/diet that will make you healthy.”

Go ahead and say it a few times.  It’s true.  Just accept it.

Sure, you can lose weight by drinking a shake and consuming 500 calories a day, but is that something you’re going to want to do for the rest of your life?

You may think, “Well, I’ll just do this until I’m at my goal weight” but, then what?

Most people go back to their old eating habits and regain whatever weight they lost and then some.

If you can’t see yourself doing it for the rest of your life, then you shouldn’t do it.

Health comes from living a healthy lifestyle, not from going on a crazy diet for a few weeks.

While fads come and go, the pillars of health have remained constant.  Eating a diet of mostly fruits, veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, and exercising/remaining active most days of the week will get you where you want to go.

3. Having A Short-Term Mindset

You can buy anything you want off Amazon and get it delivered in two days.  We can instantly communicate and access information anywhere in the world from our cell phones.  You can even buy a car and have it delivered to your home all from your couch.

The convenience that is available at our fingertips is truly amazing, but the downside is that we begin to think we can apply that to everything in our lives.

We think that we should be able to just take a pill and be magically cured of all that ails us.  People think that they can see a chiropractor once and their back pain, which has been going on for months or years, will just disappear.

There are no shortcuts to health.

We don’t go out, eat a big meal, and then wake up 30 pounds heavier the next day (even though it feels like it sometimes).

You must have the mindset that this is going to take some time.

You have to take continuous, persistent action towards your goals to start seeing some changes.

“Succes is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” – Robert Collier

Sometimes you’ll meet your goal and sometimes you won’t and that’s okay.  What’s important is that you stick with it!

Consistency moves mountains.

4. Only Doing Exercise

Don’t get me wrong, exercise is great and everyone absolutely should be doing it on a regular basis.

That being said, many people think that just because they exercise they have an excuse to eat what they want.

Your body needs the proper nutrients in the right amounts to function optimally.

Foods that are bad for you are still bad for you regardless if you can run a marathon or not.

Not only that but you will likely be sabotaging your exercise goals (remember #1?) if you’re not properly fueling your body.

You won’t be able to build protein, burn fat, or even feel like exercising if you eat a steady diet of fast food burgers.

Unless you are training for an Ironman, you are more than likely not going to be able to “out-exercise” eating too many calories, either.

Make sure that you are improving your diet along with increasing your exercise.  Your body will thank you.

5. Going At It Alone

One of the biggest indicators of whether we stick to a diet or exercise plan is the amount of support we have.

Surrounding yourself with people that don’t support your efforts to improve your health is a surefire way to sabotage yourself.  So, make sure to do the opposite.

Get people that at the very least are encouraging you and better still, will join you.

Talk about your plans with family members or friends.  Chances are that there will be one or two that want to improve their health also.

If you don’t have any friends or family that want to join you, then search online for support groups or “challenge” groups.

Facebook is an obvious place to find and connect with groups of people that are doing the same thing.  You can probably even find a group that matches your particular situation, like a busy mom’s workout group.

That’s it for the list. Those are some pretty simple things to avoid if you are trying to improve your health.

If you’ve struggled with sticking to a new diet or exercise plan, was it because of one of the items on the list?  Which do you have the most trouble with?

If you haven’t already, make sure to give this post a “like” and share it anyone else that you think it could help.