10 Helpful Tips for Sticking with Your New Health Goals
Dr. Philip Rodger
Owner and Clinic Director
Are you true to your word?
Not just to others, but to yourself. Like if you say you’re going to cut carbs this month-will you actually do it? If you’re like most of us, probably not.
Sticking to goals is hard. If it was easy it wouldn’t be a goal, it would just be a list item on your to-do list.
Want to know how to making sticking to those goals a little easier? Read our guide below.
Write Down Your Goals
When you’re mapping out a plan to get healthier, what you have in your mind is great. Except, when it’s in your mind and not on paper, it’s a lot easier to move words around and make excuses.
However, if you write down “I will not eat anything on my trigger food list” and put it on your fridge-you have a more concrete reminder.
Have a copy in your purse, in your car, on your phone, wherever you feel like you need a reminder.
While you’re writing things down, let’s talk about psyching yourself out-but in a good way and how it can help.
Find Your Why
There’s a lot of things that decide when someone will succeed at weight loss or muscle gain and a big part of it is their motivation. We’re not talking about the kind that makes you go to the gym when you don’t want to.
We’re talking about the kind that makes you feel heated thinking about it and gives you energy just from the thought. For some people, the doctor gives them a certain amount of time to live if they don’t change their habits.
Their why could be proving the doctor wrong. It doesn’t have to be so severe. Your why could be not to get out of breath running around with your kids.
You can have more than one why as well. Write this down and keep it with your rules from above.
Some people like looking at it every day. Others only look at it when they’re lagging. You’ll know which is right for you.
Have you ever heard the saying if you fail to plan you’re planning to fail? Seems cheesy at first, but it couldn’t be more correct.
Think about what happened when your friends asked you out to lunch last minute and you decided to go. You had already brought your lunch but you didn’t want to feel weird and not eat with them.
So you got a meal at the restaurant and then got hungry around 3 and ate your whole from home lunch…
Now you can’t plan when other people feel spontaneous, but you could have taken 2 minutes at the restaurant to look up healthy choices on your phone.
Then you wouldn’t have felt dissatisfied with whatever you ate and still eaten your second lunch.
The same goes for not having healthy snacks or meals on hand. If you’re starving and you walk into a convenience store – your body will subconsciously guide you towards empty carbs. Why? Because they digest fast and will give you a quick burst of energy.
Had you planned ahead and brought a snack-you could have avoided that all together.
Be Loud And Proud
When you’re planning your goals-tell other people about them. Don’t be obnoxious about it and fill their ears but mention what you’re trying to avoid.
Even if they’re not really listening or don’t remember what you said an hour later-your brain doesn’t know that. Your brain thinks you have a person who can keep you accountable.
You’re not going to tell Stacy you’re avoiding drinking more than one beer a night then order a pitcher in front of her.
Talk Back To Others
When you’re trying to get healthy in whatever way, there’s always that one person who encourages you to cheat. They usually have something to gain (short or long term) by you not achieving your goals.
Even if they don’t know it. Stacy may not want you to quit smoking because she likes hanging out with you when you take smoke breaks together. If she says, come on, just one cigarette! You need to kindly set her straight.
Say, “No, I’m not smoking and I need you to support me on this. This is already hard, please don’t tempt me.”
It may seem a little harsh at first but if Stacy is really your friend, she’ll let you be. You can still eat lunch together or get a drink after work to make up for lost time.
Get Enough Sleep
This doesn’t sound like a goal-pursuing tip, but it is. When you’re well rested, you’re more emotionally stable and you make better decisions.
You’ll also cut down on cravings for empty carbs and sugars when you’re well rested. Your body should have enough energy from sleep, so it won’t crave a quick metabolic fix.
You’ll have the energy to stand up to people who try to tempt you and be less likely to give in to your common triggers. Sleep also helps you with just about everything-mood, metabolism, and job performance!
Set Rewards for Yourself
Do you remember Psych 101 that you took in college? Do you remember how dopamine is the reward hormone?
You can hack your brain to keep up with your goals by rewarding yourself. We don’t mean with a pack of cigs or a giant chocolate cake to reward one day of good behavior.
But a pedicure when you don’t smoke for two weeks or splurging on local organic produce are good options.
There’s a reason so many teachers use sticker charts. Our brains love those shiny gold stars.
Sticking it to the Goal Sheet
In the end, the only person that can help you achieve your goal is you. Your friends and loved ones can encourage you, but they can’t change your actions.
Use these tips for sticking to your goals and you’ll be steps ahead of everyone else.
Now go, get to it! And let us know if we can help.