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
- As soon as you reach a goal, set a new one.
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
"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.
4. Get support
The more support you have for eating healthier, the
easier it is to make the change.
Tips for getting support
- Get a partner.
It will motivate you to know that your partner is doing the same thing and may
be 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. Don't be afraid to tell them that their encouragement makes a
big difference to you.
- 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.
- Healthy Eating: Getting Support When Changing Your Eating Habits
You can use your
personal action plan(What is a PDF document?) to organize your support system.