5 Keys to Lifestyle Change

Portrait of Meg Hirshberg Meg Cadoux

Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution only to find that just a few weeks in you’ve already gotten side-tracked? An article in Inc.com shared that 92 percent of people who set New Year’s goals never achieve them. Making long-lasting and systematic personal changes can be extremely challenging. 

Whether you seek to change your food habits, exercise more, or rise every morning at 5 AM to meditate, there will be times when you need to check in with and possibly readjust your expectations and strategies for achieving your goals. Here are five keys to lifestyle change to keep in mind as you work toward your Anticancer Lifestyle. 

  1. Preserve core values.
    What motivated you to set this goal in the first place? Does a chronic illness run in your family and you want to be proactive about your health? If you haven’t set aside the time to define your core values, the Anticancer Wheel of Life can guide you through this process. Some questions you might encounter are: Why should I change my behaviors? What changes are most important to me? Is it important to start changing now? Once you have some clarity on your core values and how much emphasis you wish to place on each, you can plan accordingly.
  2. Set manageable and realistic goals. 
    It’s important to set goals that are a stretch to reach, but that are doable. Our S.M.A.R.T. worksheet (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) is a helpful way to map out your goals based on the values that you prioritized in Step 1.

  3. Train others to coach you.
    Tell others what you are working on and how to best support you. With the advent of social media, there are plenty of online communities that can provide you with the community you need to help you achieve your goals or who might solutions to roadblock that you encounter along the way. Also, it’s essential to let your friends and family know that you’re working on making a shift so they can help support you along the way.
  4. Remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
    Keep the end goals in mind but allow for good days and bad days, and don’t blame yourself for the setbacks! Each day can be a fresh start. In a wonderful book called 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You, author Brett Blumenthal emphasizes the importance of small changes having a big impact over the course of a year. What small changes can you make every week that will add up to a shift in lifestyle over the course of a year?
  5. Continue learning.
    This  Anticancer Lifestyle course is just the beginning. Everyone’s path to lifestyle change will be slightly different. To find the right formula for your life, be sure to continue reading, exploring, and sharing ideas with others. Remember to keep experimenting and trying new approaches until you find what works. Try to view your setbacks not as failures but as opportunities to re-adjust your strategies for lifestyle change. How you speak to yourself matters.


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