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Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle

This blog post was created to help us in creating a sustainable lifestyle moving forward with simple tips and mindset.

Creating a sustainable lifestyle is simple but not easy. It takes time, effort and discipline after knowing the right principles to follow. Creating a sustainable lifestyle means that it is created for you and you only. Everyone else will have a different way of doing things as everyone's lifestyles vary in terms of ability and commitments. So this is about finding a way that you can fit things into your own life. Below I will share some ways that we can hopefully use to make this journey as smooth as possible.

Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself - as long as we are making progress and moving forward, we are already winning. We don’t need to master everything we have learnt straight away, take simple lessons from each aspect and slowly add more positive change as we go. Simple lessons will create long term change. Don’t think, just because I don’t get this right I won’t go anywhere, that's not the case. It doesn’t matter how slow we go, as long as we don’t stop, we can be happy with that. So it's all about the application of simple changes that we’ve learnt, not complete renewal straight away. Growth takes time, complete renewal quickly is unrealistic. Set our intentions correctly from the beginning and know that there'll definitely be setback along the way, there still is even for me, but that is part of the process and it makes success that much more sweet. Slow and steady, but most importantly, the intention to move forward must be there.

This leads me to another point which is don’t expect perfection but expect progression - I really want you to remember this. The last thing we want is to put pressure and stress on ourselves and end up giving up because we feel like we've failed and nothing works. If we feel like that, take a step back and reevaluate what stage we're at mentally. Get ourselves into the right state before we focus with the right strategy. Then move forward progressively at our own pace. If we're not in the right state, nothing much will happen even with the right strategy. So get into the right state and then follow the right strategy moving forward progressively at our own pace and then we will gradually get the right results. When I say at our own pace I don't mean for us to take our own sweet time, not bothering too much, letting it go for another week. It's not talking about that because if we don’t do anything obviously we're not going to get any sort of result. There's a fine line between still moving forward and unloading too much pressure on our self. So like I said it's about progression not perfection.

Don’t feel guilty - as I said earlier, setbacks are bound to happen, and when they do, self- guilt will only make us want to give up more, it makes us say to ourselves that we’re a failure, why try? The most important opinion of us is from ourselves. So feeling guilty will bring us into a downward spiral, we’ll tell ourselves that we failed again, we will then think that there’s no point trying (we’ll think, I’m just going to give this week a miss now), and then we’ll start to lose progress, that's the road a lot of people end up going down and it doesn’t lead to anywhere good. When setbacks come, it’s important to accept it, yes I did it, understand why I did it, was I emotional eating or something else caused me to do it. Once we understand what caused it, we can better prepare ourselves for when the emotion or situation arises again. Learn more about ourselves from the situations we go through, learn about our trigger and learn about our emotions in relation to our health. When we allow ourselves to learn from our mistakes, guilt will go away, as there is now a usefulness coming from the mistake and that is the lesson.

It's all about balance - no one can eat salads for the rest of their life, no one can exercise everyday for the rest of their lives, no one can guarantee they will get 8 hours sleep for the rest of their lives and no one can be sure the will never encounter a stressful situation again for the rest of their lives. Everything will happen be it positive or negative, it's just balance, it's going to happen, so when it does, go through it with no emotional attachments. If we feel like a cheat meal, have it without holding onto any negative emotions such as 'I screwed up my whole week'. If we want to stay up late one night with speak with friends, do it. These things can all be done once in awhile without affecting progress. We still have a life to live and a life to enjoy with the ones we love. The thing that will affect progress is the negative emotions we attach onto these events as bad or failure. Let ourselves live a little in a controlled manner, so we understand how to enjoy our life but don’t get carried away, and we’ll also know how to be disciplined without being carried away.

Choose small aims - be realistic with what we're trying to achieve, set small aims so that it doesn’t get too overwhelming too quickly. Choose some part of our lifestyle that we feel is lacking attention and implement a small change, for example if we feel like we don’t give ourselves enough time to unwind and relax, we’re always stressful, maybe spend 15 minutes on Saturday and Sunday to meditate. Let ourselves feel the change, once we get used to it we can add more days or a longer time. Once it becomes a normal part of our lifestyle, we can add another small change to another aspect of our life. Once we feel the change and the benefit, we’ll probably never want to stop. The whole point of this is to keep ourselves motivated for change. A lot of de-motivation comes from not seeing results from effort. But if we create simple changes that can be realistically applied, then we will be able to see the benefits coming in steadily and in turn, be more inclined to continue.

Before I end off, I just want to add one last little step that we should always try and apply and that is to be present, be present in our life and with the people in our life. Don’t be afraid to feel our emotions and understand them fully, listen to our body and mind, listen to what it's trying to tell us. What we can do about the future, do it, but what is out of our control shouldn’t take an emotional hold on us. Be aware of what goes on in our minds daily. Presence is an appreciative way to live. I hope you all enjoyed this blog, all the best with the changes you make.