Getting yourself into a healthy routine can be tough. And sometimes we even make it harder than it needs to be. But the brain likes ease and if you learn to take advantage of it, creating and sticking with healthy habits will be much easier.
Here are 5 ways I do that:
- Seek health AND enjoyment: make a long list of all the actions that will help you lose weight and feel good. Next, rate each action from 1-5 on how enjoyable it is for you. Start with those you rate a 4 or 5. As they become routine for you, consider adding the next level down. But start with where health and joy crossover.
- Develop non-negotiables: I don’t drink wine Monday – Thursday; the only exception is when I plan ahead for a holiday or being on vacation. The mental ease this creates for me is beautiful. I never need to argue with my toddler brain at the moment because the decision is already made. Start with one or two non-negotiables to integrate into a healthy routine. Once those are solid, add more.
- Schedule you first: if you try to squeeze healthy habits into your schedule once everything else is calendared, you likely find they don’t fit. Schedule those first and honor them like an appointment you have with someone you wouldn’t flake on. If this concept is new to you, at least in practice, start with small increments and build from there.
- #winning: at the beginning of everyday ask yourself “How can I get 1% closer to my goal?” Then at day’s end ask, “What got me 1% closer?” And here’s the key: the things that get you 1% closer are all of the elements that make up your healthy routine. It’s not the number on the scale or how your pants fit one morning. Regularly see yourself as winning.
- Change how you talk about it all: instead of “trying to lose weight” or “trying to be good” or “not eat this/that,” talk about your healthy routine as something that feels amazing. As the best way to live. Talk about how excited you are to play tennis or hike, or about last night’s tasty, healthy home-cooked meal. Remember that your routine is FOR you, not a punishment.
When you implement these five strategies, you’ll find it easier to follow through the healthy things you want to do. And if you need help getting and staying on track, let’s talk about what it’s going to take for you to make changes for good.