1. Start small
It’s all about pacing yourself.
If you usually have a couple of beers or wines a night to relax, and you want to give that up, good on you! But don’t expect to be able to go completely without straightaway. Aim for a couple of alcohol-free nights a week to start off with, and as time goes on, step that up to three, four or five alcohol-free nights a week.
Likewise, if you’ve set yourself a goal of running five kilometres or even a marathon, don’t expect to achieve that distance straight up. Set mini milestone markers, and remember to celebrate when you reach each personal best.
2. Change one behaviour at a time
Cutting everything out at once is only going to lead to one thing: the temptation becoming too much. Focus on changing one behaviour at a time. Once you’re comfortable with where you’re at in one area, you can expand your focus to another.
Say, for instance, you’re a night owl who wants to start going to the gym before work three or four days a week. That will take a lot of adjusting for your body clock, as well as your muscles if you’re not typically a gym-goer. Focus on going to bed and waking up earlier to begin with, and eventually introduce morning gym sessions when you feel like you can function pre sunrise. And remember, start small. One or two morning gym sessions is much more achievable at the start – especially if this is a completely new concept for your mind and body.
3. Talk about it
Let the people you love and trust know what you’re aiming to do. They can check in on you, celebrate your wins and support you to get back on track should you go astray. You’ll thank yourself when you have someone to share your triumphs and struggles with.
4. Don’t beat yourself up
We can be our own biggest critics, so it’s really important to manage your expectations of yourself. Be prepared to make a mistake, and remember it’s not the end of the world if that happens. Just because you jump off the bandwagon one day, that doesn’t mean you can’t jump back on it the next. We’re all human after all.
5. Ask for help
There is a lot of support available for people who want to make changes in their lives. A professional can give you expert advice and take you through practical steps that will set you up for success.
If you’re ready to make a change in your exercise regime, eating habits or alcohol and other drug use, the team at Latrobe Community Health Service may be able to help.
Latrobe Community Health Service offers a range of exercise options, from local walking groups and group exercise programs in the Latrobe Valley, to tailored exercise programs that target individual goals.
Dietitians at Latrobe Community Health Service provide expert advice on nutrition and healthy eating. This gives confidence to people to eat in a healthy and sustainable way, and helps sort through the maze of nutritional information.
If alcohol is affecting you or your family, Latrobe Community Health Service can support you and your family with care pathways and goal setting. The services offered include face-to-face, online and telephone counselling, as well as referrals to other health and community services.
Call us today: 1800 242 696