Many of us set goals to make a change for the better in the new year. However, come February a lot of our goals have been forgotten and we are back to old habits. If you want to make a true change this year, here are 8 tips to help you stick to your health goals this new year:
- Set realistic goals – first and foremost, making sure the goals you set are actually achievable in a timely manner is crucial! This means discerning a wish from a goal and possibly breaking large goals down into smaller goals.
- Be very clear on your ‘why’s’ – often weight loss will not be enough, there needs to be a bigger reason to keep us motivated for example improved energy or a clearer mind are the types of outcomes which will motivate us to stick to our goals.
- Discourage the ‘all or nothing’ mindset. We aren’t perfect 100% of the time and placing unnecessary pressure on ourselves to not stray from routine is impractical and detrimental. If healthy eating is a goal and you have a less than ideal day, don’t view this as a defeat, see if as a learning opportunity and think about ways to make better choices the next time the same situation arises.
- Understand that preparation is key! If we don’t have the right tools to carry out our goals, we will get stuck. For example, if you have made a goal to eat a healthy balanced breakfast daily but don’t actually have food in the house, this goal is unachievable. When setting goals, write down what you need to achieve the goals and make sure to have it on hand.
- Tell a friend or family member about your goals – this can help create accountability and you can celebrate your progress and success with others, both of which are incredibly motivating.
- Track your process – if weight loss or healthy eating is a goal, make sure to keep a food diary to track progress and reflect upon where improvements can be made if you get stuck. Keeping a food diary is also an effective tool to assist with staying accountable.
- Ask for help if progress isn’t being made – lack of progress is a huge barrier for people and if things aren’t going in the right direction, instead of giving up, ask for help such as a from a professional to get you back on track.
- Avoid changing everything all at once as this can become overwhelming and hard to stick to. For example set small goals such as ‘cooking a healthy meal at home 4 times per week’ or ‘replacing the 3pm chocolate bar for a more energising snack.’ Achieving small goals creates momentum to help us continue moving forward and is a much more sustainable approach.
If looking for a resource to help you stay on track? My Falling in Love with Food Cookbook is available for purchase here: http://zoebingleypullin.com/product/new-book/