Holidays, New Years Resolutions, bikini season, weddings, and other special occasions leave us bouncing back and forth, striving to be healthy for a temporary amount of time. We reach a goal or the special occasion passes, and we find ourselves right back where we started. Back and forth we go — hence the term yo-yo diet. (Don’t worry, this isn’t another dieting post. I promise.)

Why temporary? What if…bear with me now…we avoided the rebound altogether? That would require preventing the burnout that leads to the rebound, as well. Can you see the lightbulb idea above my head, yet?! I present to you — drum roll please — seven hacks on how to be fit for life!

These seven hacks will involve a few questions, a little digging, and slowly shift our thinking; which in turn, will change our life to a maintainable healthy lifestyle. So, let’s do this!


1. WHAT'SyourWHY

Before making any type of lifestyle changes, we need at least one reason why we should make that change to determine our motivator. This should be something that is personal, important to us, and lasting. The longevity of this motivator should be equivalent to that of our lives, if the ultimate goal is being fit for life. An upcoming wedding, a New Years resolution, Birthday, vacation, or something of the sort are all great supplemental motivators — but, they cannot serve as our root reason. This leads to the question: What is your why? It’s okay to be a bit selfish with this, as it directly effects you. Why do you want to be healthy and reflect a lifestyle as such?


2. Discover andDevote

Now that we have our why, let’s take the next step towards tweaking our lifestyle. Let’s dive a little deeper internally, and brainstorm activities we deem enjoyable. What things do you find fun and keep you active? Dance classes, cycling, hiking, bouldering, paddle boarding, jogging. The options are endless! It never hurts to try something new either. Once we have discovered a couple things that we enjoy, we need to devote time to it and schedule it into our week. Let’s get creative and commit! We are making an important “meeting” with ourselves that we cannot afford to miss.


3. FIND aFRIEND

If we’re trying something brand new, chances are, it will be a great opportunity to meet new friends or bring someone along. Who in your social circle can you inspire to make this lifestyle change with you? Or, who can you meet while trying out a new activity? Once we have a couple of people who can serve as accountability partners, our chance of successfully making this lifestyle transition will increase substantially! And now we have another social event to add to our calendar that is simultaneously productive to a fit lifestyle. High-five! We’re not done yet, though.


4. SUBTRACTSENSITIVITIES

Diving into our diet for a minute — we all know that what we consume impacts our health just as much as our activity level does. There are trigger foods or ingredients that can negatively impact our energy levels, inflame our gut, or cause a variety of other symptoms. Are there foods that you are sensitive to or know you should avoid? Perhaps you’re unsure — which then leads us to the option to exclude one of the primary triggers (most commonly dairy, gluten, and alcohol) from our diet for a week, to evaluate if there is a positive change with our body. Once we select sensitive items, we can then subtract them, only to be consumed on special occasions.


5. ACCESSADVENTURE

Weekends and vacations serve as great recharging days but can also lead us to placing our health back on the back-burner. Instead of neglecting, we can plan active adventures to partake in and explore other activities we may enjoy! This can lead to more “discover and devoting” with our lifestyle change. Include family and friends who will also be inspired! Recharging can take place while being active, believe it or not! Being active releases the happy hormone (endorphins) and releases stress. Equal parts active and restful, are key.


6. RETHINKREWARDS

While this could be its own blog topic — on the surface level, we need to rewire our brains to rethink rewards. Whether it’s a promotion, weight loss goal reached, or another celebratory means; the reward CAN be something other than food or dessert. Crazy to think about, right?! Contrary to what we likely experienced in adolescent years. What are other things that can serve as a reward while contributing to a healthy lifestyle? Another adventure vacation (cue ocean waves), a new pair of pants to fit your rockin’ body, a membership to another newfound love for a specific fitness activity. Wheels spinning yet?! I Let’s get those creative juices flowin’!


7. REST andRECOVER

When placed appropriately, rest serves an amazing and necessary purpose. With life speeding by us at a thousand miles per hour, we need this to rejuvenate and avoid burnout. We should allow ourselves rest when needed. Put in the work towards a healthy lifestyle, and reward with a rest day.


Author:Emily Owens

An Austinite health enthusiast and avid adventurer; with a dab of blogging and fitness modeling. A lover of too many things, I also coordinate weddings and direct corporate wellness classes downtown at various high-rises. A busy lifestyle is something I have grown accustomed to, but a healthy lifestyle has been a passion of mine since before I can remember. There's too much life to live and too little time to waste not living it.