You may know you need to make a change to your lifestyle for a healthier you. Maybe you want to change the way you eat or the amount you exercise, maybe you want to lose weight, or lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, or maybe you want to quit smoking.

It is a good first step to recognize that you need to make a change, but is equally important that you are ready to actually make the change. If you aren’t truly ready you won’t succeed and will just end up frustrated.

To see if you are ready to make a change to your lifestyle, start by taking a look at your expectations.

Do you expect quick results that will last? Most of us need to change our expectations and realize that it takes time to make lifestyle changes and sometimes it takes time to see the positive results of those changes.

And while this may be frustrating at times, the benefits are worth it. Positive lifestyle changes can give you more energy, reduce your chances of serious disease, increase your ability to move, reduce the number of colds and flus you get, improve your memory, increase your independence, reduce your stress level, and help you look good and feel good. Healthy changes are worth the time they take.

When getting ready to make a lifestyle change, think about your reason for wanting to change.

The reason you want to change should be your own. If you are making the change for someone else, your chance of long-term success isn’t good.

It is also a good idea to take some time to look at what is going on in your life now. Be honest. Is change a good thing for you at this time? Are you ready to take it one step at a time? What are you realistically willing to do?

If you aren’t ready to make a change now, that’s ok. Set a date in 3 months or 6 months to think about making the change again. Having a plan to come back later is one step closer to making the change you want to make. It also gives you time to think about what changes you think would help the most.

If you are ready to make a change now, good for you. Begin to make your plan to reach your goals and get excited about the healthy change you are about to start making.

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