Good health doesn’t happen by accident. It usually follows from a pattern of healthy choices. No, that does not mean you must endure diet or exercise extremes. Instead, aim to make choices and take actions that support good physical health and overall well-being at least most of the time. Does that seem easier said than done? Maybe not. Try these tips to get more can’s than cant’s on the road to good health.

Conserve willpower

Studies show that willpower is a finite resource. If you use a lot in the morning you probably won’t have much left in the evening. That means cake or nachos may be easier to resist earlier in the day. You can increase your chances of avoiding late night snack attacks by:

  • Removing temptation – keep only healthy snacks on hand. When you do enjoy treats do it away from home so you are better able to control portions and your sofa doesn’t become associated with chips and soda. If family members make it hard to keep snacks out of the house divide everything into individual portions as soon as you bring it home. Never eat directly from the package.
  • Brushing your teeth after dinner – Snacks aren’t nearly as tasty in a minty fresh mouth.
  • Getting a new routine – If you always snack while you watch television you can decide to eat only at the table instead. Watching television while eating usually leads to overeating because you are not paying attention. Alternatively, you can trade high calorie snacks for healthier ones. Suggestions include low fat Greek yogurt with fruit, kale chips and hummus with veggies. Better yet turn off the television and take a walk or enjoy a new hobby.

Know why it is important to decide you can

A powerful reason is a powerful motivator. Think about it, hasn’t it been easier to say you can when you had a big why (like a wedding or class reunion) driving your actions and choices? What are the reasons saying you can is important to you? Some examples include:

  • Having more energy to keep up with your kids
  • Managing diabetes or blood pressure
  • Improving overall quality of life

Use the 80/20 rule

Sometimes the idea of a can do attitude is overwhelming. We imagine that time at the gym or plates of good for you food is about deprivation or suffering. Say you can by practicing moderation. Even the healthiest diet can make room for occasional treats, just aim to eat well at least 80 percent of the time.

Try meditation

The power of meditation is in its ability to help us separate our conditioned minds from our authentic selves. Conditioned mind will often fool you into thinking you can’t because of fear, the grip of long held habits or even peer pressure. When you connect with your authentic self through meditation you begin to realize you are not your fears or your habits. You have an infinite source of strength and more control over what you can do than you imagined.