As you set your goals for the New Year, put special focus on building new habits one by one, rather than overhauling everything in a flash. When you change too much at once, you often throw in the towel before you reach your goals. Since old habits can be hard to break, here are seven tips to make sustainable healthy habits for the long term.
Find your WHY
Making changes consistently can be challenging and uncomfortable. However, if you take time to determine the WHY behind the goal, you are much more likely to stick with them. For example, if you want to reduce your cravings and emotional eating habits because they are causing your blood sugar to surge and make you feel exhausted. Focus on how great you will feel to have consistent energy and peace around food, as you make dietary tweaks.
Add in FUN
So often, we forget to do things that we truly enjoy. We focus on all the things we ‘have to do’, rather than finding time to add fun into our daily routine. Spend some time journaling about what brings you joy. Then, take the time to schedule some of these events into your calendar. Make an appointment for fun activities in your calendar, so you’ll have something to look forward to each day.
Take Baby STEPS
We often start the new year with many health goals, and we tend to start with extremes. Instead, step back and list all the healthy habits you want to incorporate. Perhaps it’s eliminating soda, eating more healthfully, focusing on whole foods, and exercising. Then, start slowly by changing one habit at a time. The best way is to replace the less healthy habit with a healthy one and take it slowly. For example, if you want to stop drinking soda, start by replacing one soda each day with sparkling water or herbal tea. Once this becomes routine, replace another soda, until you have replaced all of your sodas with sparkling water or herbal tea. Being consistent each day is important while you are trying to form a new habit. It’s the accumulation of these daily action steps that make the difference over the long term.
Find an Accountability BUDDY
It’s so much easier to achieve your goals when you have support. Find a friend or family member with a similar goal and keep one another accountable. If you can’t find someone who shares your health goal, hit reply, and I’ll try and find you one! Don’t be afraid to share your habits and goals so your friends and family can cheer you on.
Track your PROGRESS
It’s easy to lose sight of how far you have come. Documenting your healthy habits will help you stay motivated when you’re having a bad day. When you review your progress, you’ll be inspired to stay the course. For example, if your goal is weight loss, record your weight at the beginning of your journey. Losing just 5-10 pounds proves you CAN do it and will keep you moving towards your final goal.
Celebrate your SUCCESSES
It’s important to break down each goal into manageable pieces. This way, you stay motivated to keep persevering. Once you achieve a small goal, take time to acknowledge your victory and celebrate your success. Ideally, celebrate with something other than food, so you don’t derail your efforts!
And, Most IMPORTANT: Be Kind to Yourself When You Slip Up
You are not meant to be perfect! If you veer off track, put it behind you and make the next choice to support your goals, rather than punishing yourself or throwing in the towel. The quicker you get back on course, the less it will impact your overall goals.
Need help setting yourself up for success….
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