Make a plan that includes small, reasonable goals and specific actions you’ll take to move toward them. It is a journey!
If you walk by the vending machine at work and buy junk food every afternoon, try walking a different way to eliminate that temptation and decision and bring healthy snacks from home. Whenever possible, make the healthy choice.
Consider what you think you’ll need to be successful. How can you change things around you to support your goals? You might need to stock up on healthy foods, remove temptations, and find a special spot to relax your mind and be at peace.
Get friends and loved ones involved. Research shows that people’s health behaviors tend to mirror those of their family and friends. Invite them to join you, support you, and help you stay on track. It will help you stay accountable.
People work harder when they feel accountable to someone. Whether it’s a coach, mentor, trainer, friend, family member, or work buddy, having others to report to can provide that necessary push you need to get stuff done. But ultimately you are responsible for your behavior.
There is no more powerful accountability partner than you. Rather than relying only on others, set up a system whereby you regularly track your own progress. Ask yourself what helped you succeed versus what might have caused you to get off track. Reward yourself when things go well but don’t beat yourself up when they don’t. As time goes on, you’ll notice patterns of what hinders your progress and what needs to be in place for you to make healthy choices. While it’s helpful to have accountability partners, recognize that it is you who has the most knowledge and experience to set yourself up for success. It is a journey!
It’s also important to plan for obstacles. Think about what might derail your best efforts to live healthier. How can you still make healthy choices during unexpected situations, in stressful times, or when tempted by old habits?