Tips for Sticking to Your Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Whether you are trying to start a new fitness routine, eat a little healthier, develop a daily routine that is better for you, or work on personal development goals, making these healthy lifestyle changes last can be difficult. It’s easy to start with good intentions but then find yourself quickly falling back into your old habits.
There are many reasons why our good intentions don’t always turn into lasting results. One reason is that we often try to make too many changes at once. When we try to take on too much, we are more likely to become overwhelmed and give up. Another reason is that we don’t always have a plan for how we will stick to our new habits. We may start out strong but then find ourselves slipping back into old patterns when things get busy or stressful.
The good news is that there are things you can do to increase the chances that your healthy lifestyle changes will stick. Below are some tips to get you started:
Start with One or Two Changes at a Time
Trying to make too many changes at once is often overwhelming and can lead to giving up altogether. If you are trying to establish new healthy habits, start with one or two changes and then add more as you become comfortable.
For example, if you are trying to eat healthier, start by adding a few more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Once that becomes part of your routine, you can add other healthy changes like cutting back on processed foods or sugary drinks.
Set Small, Achievable Goals
Write down your goals and make sure they are specific, realistic, and achievable. Small and realistic goals are more likely to turn into lasting habits. Rather than setting a goal like “I want to eat healthier,” try something like “I will eat three fruits and/or vegetables at every meal.”
You may also want to set a weekly or monthly goal rather than a daily one. For example, “I will exercise three times per week” is more achievable than “I will exercise every day.”
Find a Support System
Whether it’s a friend, family member, or co-worker, find someone who will support you in your healthy lifestyle changes. This person can help you stay on track when you feel like giving up. It can be helpful to meet regularly to check in on each other and share how you are doing.
It can be helpful to find someone who has similar goals and can support you on your journey. This could be a friend, family member, or co-worker. If you can’t find someone in person to be your support system, look for online communities or forums related to healthy living. There are also many apps that can help you track your progress and connect with others who are working on similar goals.
Make a Plan
When you know what changes you want to make, it’s time to make a plan. What will you do each day or week to work towards your goals? How will you stay on track when things get busy or stressful?
It can be helpful to schedule specific times for working on your healthy habits. For example, if you want to exercise three times per week, put it in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment. You may also want to set reminders or alerts on your phone or computer to help you remember.
It can also be helpful to have a plan for what you will do when you slip up. Everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay. Just get back on track as soon as you can and don’t give up on your goals.
Don’t Be Too Restrictive to Avoid Regret
When we make changes to our diet or lifestyle, it’s easy to become too restrictive. We may avoid certain foods or activities altogether, thinking that this is the only way to stick to our goals. However, this can often lead to feelings of deprivation and eventually lead to giving up altogether.
It’s important to find a balance between being too restrictive and not restrictive enough. Allow yourself some flexibility so that you can enjoy your life while still working towards your goals. For example, if you are trying to eat healthier, allow yourself to indulge in your favourite foods occasionally. Just be sure not to overdo it.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Remember that you are human and that change takes time. Be patient with yourself and don’t expect perfection. It’s okay if you have a bad day or slip up occasionally. Just get back on track and don’t give up on your goals.
Lasting lifestyle changes take time, effort, and patience. But if you stick with it, you will eventually see results. And even if the process is slow, know that every step in the right direction is worth it.
Get Help When You Need It
If you find yourself struggling to stick to your healthy lifestyle changes, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to get started on the right track. You may also want to consider seeing a counselor or therapist if you are having trouble managing stress or emotional eating.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can be difficult, but it’s worth it. These changes can improve your health, energy levels, and mood. With a little planning and effort, you can make changes that will last a lifetime.