Hi everyone, Rod Bucton here. Today I want to talk about some of the secrets I’ve discovered for living a  healthy lifestyle. There’s so much information out there. You’ll hear conflicting advice all the time. I’m going to share some tips for making sustainable changes as you work towards a healthier life.

Before I get into it, I want to mention one of my Christmas gifts that I’m really excited about: a new pair of Vibram Five-Finger boots. I’ve been wearing them most days and really enjoying them. I’m looking forward to putting up a full review soon. I’ll keep you updated on my experiences with them.

So back to my topic for today: the secrets I believe are needed for a living a healthy lifestyle.

First and foremost, like most things, we need a strategy. We need to find a process. This is something that you can follow in order to get the results you want. Often a good way to find a process for yourself is to find someone who’s done what you want to do in a way that will work for you, and adopt it for yourself.

There are so many different things out there for health and wellness. I think some of them aren’t so great, some of them are good, some of them are awesome. Something that’s awesome for one person might not necessarily work for someone else, of course, but a good place to start is by talking to people around you who’ve made a change to their own health and wellness.  Find out what they’ve done and see if that works for you.

Health and wellness changes aren’t a quick-fix solution. It’s not a magic overnight change. It’s something that you have to work at every day. When you put in the effort, you’ll see a lifetime of improvement. But you can’t do that if you don’t find something that will work for you in the long run.

This is the way that I live, and it’s also the way that I coach. I don’t coach anything that I don’t do myself. I’ve been practicing the things I preach for years and years. It’s taken my mindset to a whole new level, and that has been a huge deal for my mental health and personal fitness.

Sometimes it’s good to find a coach or a mentor, and as I said, someone who has done it before. They should be someone who can give you some guidance, really good information about what to do and why are you doing it, and just as important, to motivate you and keep it going. Sometimes we need that accountability, so finding someone to support you and keep you going can make a big difference.

Our modern lives aren’t geared up to be supportive of our health and wellness day-in and day-out. It’s easy to stray a little bit here there, and if we don’t keep on track and moving forward, it’s very easy to fall off the wagon completely.

Having a coach or a mentor as part of your journey to a healthy lifestyle can really help with accountability. They’ll keep reminding you of where you’re going. That focus on what you’re trying to achieve is really important.

Sometimes, in order to start really working toward your goals, you need to work through your own stuff: beliefs, ideas, your own story that you could have been telling yourself for a long time: months, years, or even decades. That could have evolved from something that happened when you were quite young, and it set you up with certain guidelines and boundaries that you follow that may not be well aligned with the new direction you want to take for your well-being. So it’s important to be open and aware of what that story is in your mind.

The most successful people that I know personally and that I’ve read about have made some major changes to get through a really tough time, turn things around, and make their life sensational. Successful people use that adversity as their fuel. It’s the energy they use to help propel them in a new direction. These people usually have very specific goals that they set for themselves, whether it’s in business, personal development, and fitness and health.

If you’re looking at a lifestyle change, a health and wellness change, it’s vital that you set very specific goals for yourself and then find ways to achieve them that suit your life, your family, and your destination.

Let’s look at an example. Say you just want to lose a bit of weight. You might say “I’m going to do a few things just to lose weight.”

That’s really not specific enough. It’s not giving the right message to your mind, to your brain, so that it can be targeted, focused, looking for ways in which you can continue to build and grow toward that goal.

Something far more specific and far better is to say “I want to lose exactly ten kilos” or “I want to gear up to run a half marathon” or any other measurable, real thing.

A coaching client of mine recently set a goal of running a half marathon. That was his one of his big whys, and that was the thing that was pulling him towards the end of his journey in a major way, and now he’s training to gear himself up to do that half marathon. It’s an amazing thing.

Specificity is super important.

To be successful, you need to start sending yourself some clear goals. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve is the key to actually achieving it.

I’m going to talk more about planning next time, but in generally, you need a plan that you know will work from you. Starting with something that someone else has done and has worked for them is a good idea, because you can get some good feedback right away. Make changes as needed to ensure it works for you, and get in and do it. Don’t just think about it or half do it.

In the coaching that I do, there’s no half-in half-out. The way that I look at it, particularly with nutrition, is that I coach my clients there’s a swagger foods we should eat a lot of, there’s a swagger foods we should eat sometimes and there’s a ton of food we should not eat at all or only on very rare occasions. With that list, you have a place to start.

Fine-tune as you go. If there’s things that aren’t quite working for you, speak to a few people, Google some stuff online, and if you’ve got a coach or mentor that can help keep your focus, they can help you answer your questions while keeping you on the right track.

It’s important to stick with it. Keep your eye on your goal, your big why: the major reason that you want to make this change. Imagine reaching your goal and continuing on with a happy and healthy lifestyle. The difficulty that you may be having getting started will all be worth it when you feel what it’s like to be living the healthy life you’re dreaming of.

As I said, our modern lifestyle is often not very supportive of our health and wellness. I’ll talk about this more with planning, but for now, remember the importance of setting up a system to support you as you execute your plan. A coach or a mentor will keep you focused and keep you going.

More next time as we get into the details: why it’s important to plan your health and wellness activities just as much as you plan everything else in your life, and the kinds of changes you can make to help you work towards your goals.