Now that you're exchanging unbalanced habits with balanced habits, it’s important to keep practicing them to make sure they stick! All of us approach the process of personal change a little differently. Use these key principles as you practice your new habits.
1. Build confidence. Focus on strategies that play to your strengths and your skills. Consider how you have succeeded in the past, and build your plan from there. Past experiences — good or bad — are learning opportunities and should be seen as a useful tool in tackling new goals with optimism. Remember that we are not practicing perfection. We are practicing at being better version of who we were previous to kick starting our journey!
2. Create a routine. Eating and exercise schedules can create a better sense of control. Make sure your schedule is one that truly works for your life and not one you can follow only for the short term. That’s why it’s important to set realistic goals — the more successful you are, the easier it will be to stay motivated. Write your weekly and monthly goals in your journal to reference them when you need to.
3. Focus on what you're adding to your life. Don’t fixate on what you’re giving up. Focus on things like the delicious, healthy meals you are eating and how energized you feel after a workout. Celebrate each and every success as you notice even the smallest positive changes in how you look and feel; it will give you the momentum you need to keep going. Be mindful of your self-talk ensuring your inner dialog is positive, empowering and forgiving.
4. Make your program your own. Take a day off from exercise, or enjoy one of your favorite foods when you feel ready for that. The more you make your program work for you, the less likely you are to rebel against it. Figure out what it takes — within reason — to make your healthy lifestyle pleasurable and sustainable. Be aware of the person you have become and celebrate small and big wins with positive rewards that are not food related. A new belt, a manicure, a new pair of slacks….things that support your goals.