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Map Out Your Route continued...

Check your readiness to drive. Even with help and support, the buck stops with you. What can you do to set yourself up for success?

For instance, are you wondering if you really can meet your goal? Now's the time to identify and sort out those feelings.

To change behavior, experts say you must be able to do the required new habits. So, it's key that you choose habits that you can follow through with.

Let's say you've picked a food plan with foods or styles of eating that you don't like -- say, one that asks you to cook everything yourself, and that’s not realistic for you. Or you pick one that's impossible for you to stick with, like eating cabbage soup twice a day. If you keep moving forward with that plan instead of adjusting it, you're crushing your ability to succeed.

Know Why You're In Transit

As part of your preparation, ask yourself: Why do I want to make changes?

Your reason will be most motivating when it's linked with a strong emotional state. Instead of simply “wanting to lose weight,” the reason could be “because I want to have more energy” or “not be in pain.”

"Rather than focusing on the weight you want to lose, focus on the feeling you want to have. As you create that experience, the weight will come off,” says Erik Hajer, a fitness and lifestyle coach in Boston.

Set up cues to remind you about your motivation. A good cue is one that you'll be sure to notice and that happens near the time for your healthy habit. You could open your blinds in the morning to cue you to take your vitamin, for example. Or, you could simply set an alarm.

Even when you take the actions you need, there's some chance that you might go back to your old ways. So have a clear sense of what you want. It's like an energy reserve. It gets you back on track when you need it.

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