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A healthy life leads to lifelong happiness

Nov. 26, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

When The Black Eyed Peas sing "Someday," they're crooning an anthem for immediate gratification: "I don't want it someday; I don't want it one day; Gotta have it somehow; I want it right now." Our fast-food, living-off-credit culture has turned up the volume on what-I-want-I-want-now! And kids and adults who opt for immediate gratification often are obese and have to deal with what that leads to: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and more. But you don't have to get hooked on that feeling, or suffer the health repercussions that go along with it.

So here's our step-by-step guide to taking the long view -- and dodging the health problems of immediate gratification. You'll be surprised how much willpower you can exert and how the rewards will last a lifetime.

1. Choose a mantra that moves you. To stop yourself from automatically grabbing a cookie, or opting for couch-potato land, come up with an inspiring motto to say OUT LOUD when temptation hits. Try: "I CAN feel better," or "I am not going to do that TODAY; instead, I'll take a walk." Then take a walk outdoors -- 30-60 minutes will transform your attitude and banish cravings.

2. Set a REALISTIC goal that will make you happy. Maybe it's to lose 10 pounds; stop smoking; or walk for 45 minutes a day. You get the idea.

3. Get a buddy, and enlist supporters to help you achieve your goal. Support will give you the willpower and confidence you need to be powerfully effective.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.