Tis the season for new goals and new routines when it comes to our health. The unfortunate reality is that the majority of people fail to stick to these new routines for very long. Although the good intention is there, there are various mistakes people make when making these changes.
Here are a few tips on how to make healthy changes that will last!
1. Don't try to change everything at once!
Trying to toss out your current lifestyle for a completely new one is the fastest way to fall back into your old routine. If you exercise zero times per week right now, don't expect yourself to make it happen 5 days a week all of the sudden. If your diet is shit right now, don't expect to eat healthy food for every meal of the day.
The reason this fails so often is because as soon as you only make it to the gym 2 days instead of 5, or you eat fast food for lunch one day, we think we have failed because we didn't meet the high expectations we put on ourselves. If we set the bar too high out of the gate and fail to stay there, we create the illusion that we're not succeeding.
Set realistic goals. If you currently exercise zero days per week, set a goal to make it 2 days a week. If your diet is bad, cut out or limit 1 or 2 bad things to start. Make small changes at the beginning and gradually add in new things as you go. This will keep you on track and create habits that will become a lifestyle.
2. Write down your goals and tell friends/family about them!
It's much easier to let yourself down then it is to let down others. Especially people close to you. We tend to find excuses or ways to justify it when we give up on things we set out to do.
If people close to you know that you have a particular goal and genuinely care about you, they will likely hold you accountable to that goal. Not only that, just knowing that they know gives you a better chance of sticking to it so you don't look like a fool!
If you're serious about your goals, let people know. It makes it real and not just a thought in your head!
3. Be patient with yourself
You're going to make mistakes. You're going to have bad days. You're going to slip up sometimes. This is all part of the process and the difference between success and failure is how you respond.
The worst thing to do when you slip up is throw in the towel. If you have a rough week and only workout one time and have a few unhealthy meals, forgive yourself and remember where you started. All you have to do is work to get yourself back on track. As long as you don't stray too far from the path then it should be a quick fix but you have to give yourself some room for error.
Remember that your results will not come overnight. Stay the course even though the finish line isn't yet in sight. IT WILL COME!
These are just a few general ways to be successful with your new goals and I hope they're helpful. It takes time and effort make these changes and the fact that you even want to is the first step so good job! Stay focused and slowly make progress each and everyday and before you know it, you'll have your goal!