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For the past 11 months, Sparkling Hill has invited you to start improving your health by incorporating small lifestyle changes each month. Now it’s time to put these challenges together and continue your healthy lifestyle. Some of the challenges introduced are daily tasks, while other challenges only need to be done once in a while in order to ensure you are keeping on track. By now you should have a good idea of what matters to you and have formed your own health ideals. For December’s Health Challenge, instead of trying to stay away from that cup of eggnog or those sugar cookies…

Prioritize your health ideals and plan for the future

Some of the challenges introduced over the past year may have been easy and some may have been too difficult to sustain right now and that’s OK. You don’t have to master every challenge to be healthy. First things first… you should identify the changes that fit your needs now, and make sure the changes you make can be sustained at least 90% of the time. Once you are consistent in one area or skill, you can then increase the difficulty or move onto an entirely different challenge. For example, if you already eat at least six servings of fruit and vegetables a day then maybe you’re ready to tackle portion sizes. As we discussed earlier this year, eating the right amount of food can help you to manage your weight, could help prevent unwanted stresses, and also has a snowball effect helping with other areas like enhancing your sleep or improving your strength. Success breeds confidence and confidence will help you to stay consistent in your choices and ultimately improve your health.

It may not be New Years just yet but, this December, you will need to do a little planning for your future health. You have the skills and knowledge to be successful in making healthy choices, now it’s time to start prioritizing and putting what you have learned into action. Make sure that you consider every aspect of your health: Mind, Body, Nutrition, and Exercise are all parts of a healthy lifestyle and it is how you address these factors together that contribute to your overall health.
When determining your goals for the future, simply make sure that you are consistently:
Exercising – resistance training has many benefits but just moving more will pay off
Eating well – incorporating more fruits and vegetable and other nutrient dense foods, getting portion sizes right, avoiding temptation with kitchen cleanses
Practicing mindfulness – reducing stress, getting enough sleep, eliminating limiting factors
Using your health team – rehab from injuries, reduce pain and get help in areas you aren’t confident by using other health professionals

As cliché as it sounds, remember that moderation and balance are important. Most of us are not health machines, meaning that there will be times where we may do things that don’t line up with our health priorities. Recognize that your health is complex and change is a long term process. Simply make sure you are performing a variety of fundamental healthy behaviors every day and you will reach your long term health.

We are all powerful individuals! So apply what you have learned, trust the process, and achieve your long term health.