We all know that positive lifestyle changes are the best way to look and feel better and to avoid preventable diseases and discomforts as we age. We also know that lifestyle changes are easier to stick with when they don’t hit your wallet like a gym membership or personal trainer, and that eating healthy is WAY more expensive than eating over-processed junk. This has led us to believe that only those with means can afford to make these changes effectively.
But what about the average person? What about those on limited, fixed incomes?
I know firsthand that positive lifestyle changes can work long term for people with smaller budgets too. We have recently touched on focusing on goals and sticking with them as well as implementing small changes to step up towards bigger accomplishments, but what does that really look like?
Here are 3 tips to help you set concrete goals and take action on them without breaking the bank:
1. Figure Out the Results You Want to See in Your Life
If you know what specific result you are looking for, you can estimate what improvements you’ll see from it (less of this or that vitamin/supplement, fewer complications from dietary issues, etc), then you can assess what that lifestyle change is worth to you in dollars as well as quality of life. When you determine this, you’ll be able to prioritize your lifestyle changes AND you won’t overspend to achieve something just because it’s “on your wish list.” One of my money saving tips: I spend less on supplements and medications, now that I am taking Paula’s Purple Rice everyday.
So, take just a few minutes to answer these 3 questions:
- How much is more energy worth to me?
- How much is less inflammation in my body worth to me?
- How much is better sleep worth to me?
Simple lifestyle changes often domino into benefits that you won’t be able to imagine living your life without once you experience them. While I would rate more energy, better sleep, and less inflammation as nearly priceless, you can consider what the problem is actually costing you to put a monetary value on it.
Do you spend money on a sleep aid for insomnia and have a lower immunity to sicknesses (leading to more doctor. visits and OTC medicine)? While eating Micronized Purple Rice actually helps me gain all three of those benefits by re-energizing my body on a cellular level so it functions more efficiently, adding something as simple as increasing your daily physical activity, along with your daily intake of Paula’s Purple Rice, can gradually improve all three areas for you, and won’t cost you anything extra but a little time.
Real Life Example: My friend Rob got a wake-up call at his yearly physical when his doctor recommended he go on medication for Type 2 Diabetes. Rob is late-middle-aged and works long hours at a sedentary job. His eating habits weren’t terrible, but they weren’t what you’d call the healthiest. The upshot was that he was obese and before paying for medication to merely survive and deal with side effects, he decided to take matters into his own hands. His goal: to lose a lot of weight at a safe speed. This would mean more energy, fewer health risks, and less joint pain. But if the lifestyle changes he needed to make came easy to him naturally, he wouldn’t have ended up in that position in the first place. Which brings us to tip #2…
2. Make Your Process Fun
Maybe the thing you know you need to do flat- out isn’t fun, but in most cases you really can find a way to enjoy living healthier — especially when you start reaching your goals!
Find something about it you like, even if it’s only that you reward yourself with something you love every time you complete your new behavior.
If it’s exercise, look for books or videos on an activity that interests you, like yoga, zumba, weights or jump rope workouts.
If you need to make dietary changes, research new recipes to try based on dishes you already like and make a treat of it — put on some music, enjoy the process of cooking and savoring your creations.
And here’s the money saver: your local library has books and videos you can use for free. If you have internet access, YouTube is a wealth of information for exercise and cooking technique and there are countless bloggers in every corner of the World Wide Web sharing tips and experiences on all manner of diets, fitness routines, and motivation.
Many of us have smart phones and data plans to literally put all the resources of the web in our pocket; don’t just watch funny cat videos on that smart phone — put it to work!
Real Life Example: Rob didn’t want the expense and bother of training at a gym, but what he could do was stop drinking sugary soda and replace it with flavored water —
–and he began getting up just a little earlier in the morning to walk.
He lives in a good neighborhood for walking, and at first, he’d get tired out just going to the end of the road, but he loved seeing the sunrise over the hills and watching the world wake up so he kept at it. When he could walk a half mile, he started trying for three-quarters of a mile.
Which brings us to sticking with it…
3. Track Your Progress
And I mean ALL your progress, even backwards progress. No lying to yourself or promising to do it twice tomorrow…….
If you want to keep a journal, a calendar or chart, or a list to physically check off, do that. If that isn’t your thing, then look for an app that tracks and encourages you, post on your social media to get your friends’ support, or enlist a buddy — someone to go through the process with you. New experiences are always easier and more fun when they are shared. If you do get a partner however, don’t become dependent on their participation to do what you need to — your health is in your hands and yours alone.
Another friend of mine has begun a lifestyle transformation and snaps a selfie of herself smiling every time she completes a workout, no matter how difficult. This is a daily reminder that it’s worth it and associates positive emotion with her exercise.
If your goal is weight loss, you can also track progress through measuring inches once a week or noting belt notches tightening or clothes fitting more loosely.
Real Life Example: Rob didn’t even buy a fancy step tracker, he just knew the length of his loop and walked it, and walked it, and within two years, he was walking 10 miles a day and had lost 250 pounds! He can now challenge himself with walk-a-thons and he even feels great enough to start getting into running, something he’d never dreamed of trying 3 years ago!
While I have resolved several times throughout the last decade to “finally get into better shape”, I found that dietary changes were pretty fun for me as I enjoy trying new foods and new cooking techniques, (especially if they are easy!) but I just couldn’t stick with the regular exercise plans I tried because old injuries would flare up, lack of energy would give me “the blahs” and I just couldn’t shake it. I’d tried all sorts of natural remedies and increased vitamins, herbal supplements, chiropractic treatments and so on….
The turning point for me was giving Micronized Purple Rice a chance. I saw reduced inflammation in my joints much sooner than most people do and got the energy boost and mental clarity shortly after. Without those impediments, I’ve gotten into a steadier routine of regular exercise. I still haven’t found the particular form of physical activity I love (unless active play with grandkids counts), but I feel good walking, doing yoga, pilates, dance-based workouts, light weights training, and riding my bike around the neighborhood.
Maybe with this beautiful fall weather coming on, I can start setting distance goals to bicycle and walk weekly.
If you need a lifestyle change buddy, some ideas, or support in your journey to wellness, you can click here to join my private Facebook Support Group where we share our experiences and health tips and uplift each other with positive motivation. You can also join the conversation on my Facebook Page, where you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have.
If you want to try Paula’s Micronized Purple Rice to kick start your fitness journey, you can order here.
I hope to hear your health success story soon,
Copyright © 2016 Paula’s Purple Rice, All rights reserved.
This is the user’s individual experience. It does not reflect any claims made by the product’s manufacturer or distributor and is not supported by any scientific studies.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.