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Healthy Eating - Making Change a Habit

Tips for setting goals

  • Focus on small goals. This will help you reach larger goals over time. With smaller goals, you'll have success more often, which will help you stay with it.
  • Write down your goals. This will help you remember, and you'll have a clearer idea of what you want to achieve. Make a personal action plan(What is a PDF document?) where you can record your goals. Hang up your plan where you will see it often. It will remind you of what you're trying to do.
  • Make your goals specific. Specific goals help you measure your progress and adjust your plan. For example, setting a goal to eat 2 servings of vegetables each day is better than a general goal to "eat more vegetables."
  • Focus on one goal at a time. By doing this, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed and then give up.
  • As soon as you reach a goal, set a new one.

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One Woman's Story:

"I didn't try to completely redo my whole diet. I focused on things that seemed reasonable at the time."—Dawn

Read more about how Dawn set goals.

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've tried to make lifestyle changes before, think about what helped you and what got in your way.

By thinking about these barriers now, you'll be better prepared to deal with them if they happen.

Some ways to deal with barriers to healthy eating

Barriers

Solutions

"It takes a lot of time to prepare vegetables."

  • I'll buy packaged salad mixes and precut vegetables that I can prepare quickly.

"Fruits and vegetables are expensive."

  • I'll look for fruits and vegetables that are in season so they cost less.
  • I'll buy frozen and canned fruits and vegetables when fresh produce is too expensive.

"I eat out a lot at restaurants."

  • I'll pick a salad or cooked vegetables for the side dish instead of french fries at restaurants.

Use your personal action plan(What is a PDF document?) to write down your barriers and backup plans.

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One Man's Story:

"I know the things that I like to eat, like baked goods, cookies, and stuff like that. I know that I'm never going to stop liking those."—Jeremy

Read more about how Jeremy avoids getting discouraged by setbacks.

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