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Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Answer the following question truthfully: Are you in control of your health? Or do you let it control you?

For most folks, it’s the latter. If you fall into that category, it’s okay, because I’ll show you how to take control of your health starting with just 15 minutes of your time a day.

A Population Out of Control

The stats indicate many people struggle to control their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States is obese.
  • More than 2 out of every 3 adults in the United States is either overweight or obese.
  • Over 17 percent of kids ages 2-19 are obese.
  • Medical costs associated with obesity are around $147 billion per year.
  • Medical costs for people who are obese are $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Obesity is triggered by a number of factors, such as your genetics, socioeconomic issues, age, medical issues, etc. But guess what the number one cause of obesity is?

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Lifestyle factors.

This means what you eat, how much you exercise, whether or not you smoke, how much you sleep, etc. You probably knew this already. The reason I bring it up to you again is to prove a point: if you’re struggling with your weight and are unhappy with your current state of health, you can make a change.

Here’s how.

How to Take Control of Your Health

First, you have to want to change, so sit down and really think about the reasons why you want to get healthier. Maybe you’re sick of feeling embarrassed every time you go out to eat, or you want to look better in a bathing suit, or you want to increase your chances of being around longer so you can watch your kids grow up. Whatever your reasons are, write them down. This will serve as motivation down the road when you get a little off track (which you inevitably will). Once you decide you’re ready, talk to your doctor. When you make changes to your health, especially major ones, you need to get the green light from a healthcare professional.

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Next, map out your health goals. And by “map out”, I mean write them down. Be specific. Don’t say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I want to lose 10 pounds by August 1st.”

Sounds easy enough, right? So the next step is to take the goals you wrote down and place them in every spot where you spend a lot of time. This means in your bedroom, your family room, your office at work, in your car… you get the drift. The idea is to ensure that your goals are always on your mind. This helps you stick with them and stay motivated.

Commit to spending at least 15 minutes each day on healthy behaviors for the first week or two, and track those behaviors each day. These “healthy behaviors” will be highly individualized, but here are some ideas to get you thinking in the right mindset.

10 Ways to Take Control of Your Health in 15 Minutes or Less

1. Keep a food diary outlining your daily calorie counts.

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2. Spend 15 minutes walking or biking.

3. Cook a healthy dinner for yourself or your family.

4. Take a 15-minute walk on your lunch break at work.

5. Make a healthy smoothie for breakfast in the morning.

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6. Pack a salad for lunch instead of going out to eat.

7. Spend 15 minutes doing yoga or stretching.

8. Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables.

9. Take your dog for a quick walk.

10. Try to go a day without drinking any soda, juice, or other sugary drinks.

Taking Control for the Long-term

Once you spend a week or two commiting to at least 15 minutes a day, increase that number to 30 minutes a day, and continue to track your progress. According to research it takes 66 days to form a healthy habit, so if you continue these healthy behaviors every day for 8 weeks or so, you’ll be much more likely to experience long term success so you can take control of your health once and for all.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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