Almost everybody has something in their life that could use some improvement, whether it is losing weight, reducing stress, or ending an unhealthy relationship. Making changes can feel rather overwhelming, and sticking to them while you’re on vacation can be a challenge. However, building self-discipline and accepting the fact that some sacrifices are necessary, can ultimately help make these needed changes go smoothly for the long-term. It’s crucial not to lose track of your goals while you’re indulging, on your time away, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up on all of the fun and enjoyment. Following are a few key ideas to keep in mind throughout your effort towards a healthier life, especially while you’re away from home.
Building self-discipline is possible and is key to making life changes stick
As the American Psychological Association notes, many people believe that they do not have the willpower to make the changes needed in order to live a healthier life. But self-discipline is a learned trait and there are tips available to help you successfully navigate the sacrifices needed to improve one’s health. Long-term success often comes from small changes that add up over time, so it’s important that you don’t lose headway by tossing your new rules aside while on vacation.
Avoiding temptation is a key to strengthening one’s self-discipline, and this is where planning and reflection can be critical. If unhealthy eating is the bad habit that needs to be addressed, pack only healthy snacks for your travel time and do research ahead of time to find restaurants with lite meal options. If lack of motivation to workout is an ongoing problem, make it a point to get on your feet while you’re away. Find an activity, such as swimming or tennis, that you enjoy doing. When you look forward to an activity, staying motivated is a lot easier. If smoking or imbibing are an issue, resist the idea of “cheating” on your vacation. Avoid designated smoking areas as much as possible and skip the bar in favor of a nearby smoothie shop or cafe.
Create a clear picture of the long-term goal in order to stay focused
As self-discipline strategist Rory Vaden detailed via CBS News, having a clear vision of the long-term goal can go a long way toward avoiding short-term decisions that can take a person off-course. Vaden notes that often people lack a vision or a clear picture about where they want to head when it comes to change. This lack of direction is what often holds people back from succeeding and can make vacations even trickier for someone hoping to maintain positive life changes.
Achieving long-term change, whether it is related to unhealthy habits or problems in relationships, is easier to make happen when a clear plan is made at the very beginning. Try determining why the changes are necessary, and then create a written copy to bring along with you on your holiday. Being able to read this discipline in black and white can help keep a person on-track in light of temptation. Many experts also recommend setting up a simple reward system to coincide with the mini-steps laid out in a plan in order to help keep motivation and self-discipline up. This will in turn, keep the sacrifices from feeling too overwhelming. These are especially helpful during a vacation when one is already seeking little splurges and rewards.
Be deliberate in making small changes that set the stage for success
Author James Clear reiterates that one’s environment is the key to success. He notes that people typically respond to what is most visible in their environment, and simple tweaks in this regard can have a significant impact on achieving positive change. Taking the initiative to set up one’s environment to reinforce desired changes and habits can ultimately become a natural habit. Keeping up this positive, healthy atmosphere on vacation can keep a person on the right track and make the break even more rewarding.
When it comes to ditching unhealthy habits or relationships, one needs to be determined and deliberate in moving forward. Transitions like this do require sacrifice and self-discipline, but there are many strategies available that can help to make these changes feel less overwhelming.
Create a plan and a long-term vision, tweak the surrounding environment, and set the stage for success while also accepting that creating a healthier life will often involve some minor setbacks or frustrations. If it does happen on vacation, forgive yourself and vow to do better tomorrow. A positive attitude and the determination that you can and will succeed will give you the right attitude to enjoy your vacation without losing your progress, even amid a minor setback. Short-term difficulties may feel like a significant burden initially, but the reward of creating a healthier life will ultimately be worth the self-discipline and sacrifices utilized along the journey.
[Image by Unsplash/Pixabay]
Author: Jane Moore
Editor: Felice Webb