Make achievable goals.,
Find someone who will make changes alongside with you.,
Make a contingency plan.,
Have faith in your hard work.
Creating difficult goals and failing to reach them can make you feel discouraged. By speaking to your doctor or health care professional, you can come up with a doable plan and stick to it. If your needs change over time, adjust your plan accordingly.
A common mistake of people who embark on changing their lifestyle or habits is expecting too much, too fast, and then becoming discouraged when their expectations are not met. Think realistically about what changes you can make, and in what time frame. Use numbers to calculate calories, sodium intake, hours of exercise or rest, and so on when possible.
, Eating is an inherently social thing, and light exercise can be a great socializing activity. Ask your family and friends to make some lifestyle changes with you to make your transition seem more feasible.
Even if family and friends do not want to eat the same food or exercise the same amount as you, they can still support your decisions and help encourage you to go to the gym, or to eat certain meals.
Start first with the changes that are easiest for everyone. For example, adding fresh fruits to everyone’s diet is easier than eliminating a certain food all together. Or start with light walks around the neighbourhood before asking friends or family to go on marathons or to the gym.
Ask people you trust and are comfortable with for support. It can make changing your lifestyle less stressful if the people who support you are positive, encouraging, and non-judgemental.
, Some people try to motivate behaviour change by making a contract with themselves in case they fail. These contracts might promise something bad will happen if the person fails to uphold their end of the contract and encourage them to avoid the negative result. Some ways to incorporate contingency plans are:
Tell a friend what goals you will be working towards and ask them to make sure you complete them. For some, just telling someone you’re planning to achieve something is a good enough contingency plan. By telling someone what your goals are, you are making yourself accountable to that person. You don’t want to disappoint them by not completing your goals and you want to make them proud by working hard to achieve them.
Give yourself negative consequences for not completing your goals. For example, if you smoke regularly, you can tell yourself that for every cigarette you smoke, you have to put a money in a jar and donate that money to a charity or an organization that helps smokes quit. Or you could say to yourself, “I’m working on having a healthier diet. If I cheat and have unhealthy snacks after dinner, I have to clean all the bathrooms in the house.”
, Permanent behavioural change is difficult to implement, and will not happen in a day, week, or even for months. There will be days when you don’t want to eat healthily, or when you don’t exercised. The important thing is to remember that every little bit counts. Hard work and an honest relationship with your body will pay off in the future, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.
Remind yourself of your goals and motivations.
Ask friends and family to help you reinforce your rules and goals even when you are unmotivated.
At the beginning, write a list of the reasons why you are doing this, or goals you hope to achieve. Reread this list when you start to feel unmotivated.