Habit Change

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LIFESTYLE

by Cara Simpson, RD, CPT, CHC

Changing lifelong habits can seem overwhelming and discouraging, but here are some helpful tips that can make the process easier! Everyone likes to wait until the New Year to make positive changes, but now is your chance to start preparing to ensure you will be successful.  

  1. Determine your long term goal.  Examples: Lose 20 pounds, gain muscle mass, get 8 hours of sleep every night, etc.

  2. Determine short term goals that will help you obtain your long term goal. Examples: workout 3x/week, record food intake and meet specific calorie goal, shut off electronics 60 minutes before bedtime.

  3. Figure out your barriers. What gets in the way of achieving your goals? Figure out your barriers and set up a plan to overcome them.

  4. Create a calendar to keep track of your goals. Positive reinforcement is an important aspect of habit change. Keep track of your progress and check off every time you meet a goal.

  5. Be forgiving. Change doesn’t happen overnight and no one is perfect when it comes to exercise and healthy eating. If you get off track with your goals, spend 10 minutes to refocus and think about why your goals are important. Then get started right away!