When was the last time you created a healthy habit that made the time pass effortlessly? What kind of habits do you do that don’t require nagging reminders? Seriously, take a moment to think about this. What comes to mind?

The answers usually fall into two categories.These answers can be the foundation from which long-lasting, healthy lifestyle changes are born.

Habits that are part of our daily maintenance routines

Such as brushing your teeth, offering a handshake. You may even be in the habit of prepping your meals. Behavior scientist, BJ Fogg, cleverly advises on the TEDx stage, “forget big change, start with a tiny habit.” He uses the example of having a goal to floss your teeth every night and suggests starting with one or two teeth after brushing, simply to get yourself into the habit.

Habits that we ENJOY doing

These are the things we do from a place of love and inspiration. We are motivated by our pure enjoyment or belief in that activity or habit.

It is not uncommon, and in fact can be most effective, when these categories are combined as strategies to create positive lifestyle changes.

They can be used in combination simultaneously, or one may precede the other. You may adopt a habit and strengthen it by acting upon it with self-love. You may also be inspired to make a change out of self-love, and this will help it become a habit, something you do with little effort.

So how do we make changes out of love? There can be a tendency to approach change from a place of shame, guilt, fear, punishment, or whatever form of discontent. In terms of health, discontent may take the form of being unhappy with our body. We are unhappy with our body, so we go to the gym. We are unhappy with our body, so we deprive ourselves of certain foods and follow restrictive diets we may not really enjoy.

It’s time to shift that paradigm. Don’t go to the gym to punish yourself for not sticking to your diet; go because you cherish your body, and strengthening it is one way of showing that. Do you deprive yourself of junk, or do you CHOOSE to make healthy choices because you have the sheer bravery to do so – to nourish your body with life-giving fuel?

This is where the real change happens. If you are already implementing lifestyle changes, there really isn’t much more to do. It’s about how you do it. You can operate from whatever space you choose.

The next time you begin to talk negatively or get down on yourself, stop and reframe it. Reframe it from a place of love. Reframe it until it becomes your reality. When you make a choice out of genuine love and care for yourself, you will always succeed.

To create lifestyle change out of self-love, here are a few steps to get you started:

1. Create a vision board to establish long term goals.
It’s important to find a balance between not overwhelming yourself with big, unattainable goals, but also having some sense of direction. So, set your big picture goals, then set them aside. Be open to change, but have an idea of what direction you want to take. A vision board is a great way to do that. You can also do this on pintrest!

2. Take small steps.
Narrow it down to the smallest step you can take to get you closer to the bigger picture you’ve painted. To be happy and healthy, do you want to incorporate more movement? Narrow it down. Will you move more by enjoying a morning walk? Narrow it down more. Need to get up 15 minutes earlier to walk? Put your walking clothes by your bed? Pick the smallest puzzle piece, and start there until it’s a part of your routine that you enjoy and gets you closer to where you want to be. One step at a time.

3. Befriend your successes and lapses.
Create a sense of empowerment by acknowledging every little success, every time. I guarantee you have at least one success every day, so give yourself permission to see it. Go beyond the mental note, and say it out loud. Physically pat yourself on the back. Write it down in a journal. And when you have a lapse, know it’s part of the process. Lapses are messengers; they aren’t bad! It’s a cue to switch something up, or just simply notice it, and be gentle with yourself. You will know what to do next. Trust the process, and more importantly trust yourself.

If you want to be part of a community that supports positive, healthy changes, you are in the right place! The DIY Cleanse is all about creating a lifestyle of love for yourself, your body, and your health, and supporting others in that journey. How do you make healthy lifestyle changes? Comment below – we want to know what works for you!