3. Prepare for slip-ups
It's perfectly normal to try to change a habit, go
along fine for a while, and then have a setback. Lots of people try and try
again before they reach their goals.
What are the things that
might cause a setback for you? If you have tried to change a habit before, think about what helped you and what got in your way.
thinking about these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them
if they happen.
will be times when you slip up and don't make your goal for the week. When that
happens, don't get mad at yourself. Learn from the experience. Ask yourself
what got in the way of reaching your goal. Positive thinking goes a long way when
you're making lifestyle changes.
- Stop Negative Thoughts: Getting Started
4. Get support
more support you have for making lifestyle changes, the easier it is to make
Try these tips for getting support:
- Get a partner. It's motivating to know that someone is trying to make the same
lifestyle change that you're making, like being more active or changing your
eating habits. You have someone who is counting on you to help him or her
succeed. That person can also remind you how far you've come.
- Get friends and family involved. They can exercise with
you or encourage you by saying how they admire what you are doing. Family members can join you
in your healthy eating efforts. Don't be afraid to tell family and friends that
their encouragement makes a big difference to you.
- Join a class or support group. People in these groups often have some of the same
barriers you have. They can give you support when you don't feel like staying
with your plan. They can boost your morale when you need a lift. You'll also find a number of online support groups.
- Give yourself positive reinforcement. When you feel like giving up, don't waste energy feeling
bad about yourself. Remember your reason for wanting to change, think about the
progress you've made, and give yourself a pep talk and a pat on the back.
- Get professional help. A
registered dietitian can help you make your diet
healthier while still allowing you to eat foods that you enjoy. A trainer or physical therapist can help design an exercise program that is fun and easy to stay
a social worker, or your doctor can help you overcome
hurdles, reduce stress, or quit smoking.
For more help, see:
- Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.
- Healthy Eating: Getting Support When Changing Your Eating Habits.
- Healthy Eating: Starting a Plan For Change.
- Healthy Eating: Staying With Your Plan.
- Quitting Smoking: Getting Support.