Last week, I discussed how to make healthy habit changes. This week I’m covering key elements needed to lessen the difficulty of incorporating new habits.
Think of it as a game plan to creating long lasting health habits rather than winging it.
Consider these elements when implementing new healthy habits:
1. Focused, but flexible.
Before beginning any new habits, have a solid plan and a short back up plan. If you’ve decided to change your eating habits, have a few meals and snacks planned and those ingredients stocked. Meal prep once a week for meals you don’t have time to make. Also, have a plan for when you forget your lunch at home or you’re running errands all day. Perhaps you have a local restaurant or grocery store that you can pick up a quick healthy meal.
Schedule and plan your workouts ahead of time, so when you get to the gym or park you don’t waste any time. Also, have a backup in case you aren’t able to workout at your usual place. This is where being flexible and having a backup plan is needed.
2. Create a successful environment.
Create an environment that is congruent with your goals. If you’re wanting to eat more fruits and vegetables, then stock your kitchen with fresh and frozen produce. If you want to increase your physical activity, make sure you have clean workout clothes.
3. Trust the process.
Our bodies are sometimes slow to show changes. One week you can lose a few pounds and the next two weeks half a pound. Then the fourth week, you can lose a few pounds again. It’s frustrating, but a reality.
If you are putting in the work, changes are happening. The scale is not the only instrument to document change. Take photos, notice how your clothes feel, and use a measuring tape. These four measurements will give you a better overall picture of what is happening.
4. Each day (or meal) is a do-over.
Take this process one day, or one meal at a time. If you overeat at lunch, get back on track for your next meal. If you skipped your workout, get back on track the next day.
5. Above all, be consistent.
Consistency is huge. What you do day in and day out ultimately determines whether you succeed or not. One overindulgence or skipped workout will not derail you. Overtime you will be successful.