11 steps to help set yourself up for success
If you’ve set yourself some personal goals for the new year, these tips could be the inspiration you need to start making a positive long term change in your life.
I’m lucky enough in my job to meet and talk to hundreds of people every year about their health and wellness goals.
Many of us know what we should be doing, but how to do it, and how to do it in the long term, is where people can get a little stuck.
Think about what it is that you want to achieve this year. What does the healthier version of you look like? More well rested? More connected to friends and family? Fitter? Get your mind ticking over and start to set yourself up for success with these tips:
1. Connect to your purpose
Why is it important that you achieve this goal? Then once you’ve asked yourself why, ask yourself why again and again until you drill down to the real reason you want to make a change. The more you understand your true motivation, the more likely you are to succeed.
2. Think very very small
We can lose motivation and feel overwhelmed by big goals that feel unachievable. Trying to change everything at once very rarely works long term. Start with a mini version of a big goal that you could literally start doing today. Then focus on repeating that behaviour every single day. If we do something often enough, eventually it will happen automatically without much thought or effort. Repetition is the only thing that re-wires our brain, so focus on consistency first. It takes about 66 days for a behaviour to become habit. For example, if you want to be able to do 100 push ups, just do one push up every single day to start with. It’s like brushing your teeth, something you do every day that you probably don’t think much about now.
3. Get support.
This could be a professional or a friend or family member.
4. Focus on the behaviours, not the outcome.
You can’t control how much weight you will lose each month, but you can control your behaviours. Focus on what you can control to help you maintain a positive mindset.
5. Store food strategically.
Keep healthy unprocessed foods conveniently close by and easy to access: fruit on the bench, pre-cooked stir fries in the freezer and healthy snacks in your bag, car or desk.
6. Remove temptation
Get rid of needless temptation and manage stress. After all, we only have a finite amount of will power.
Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. It repairs our body, strengthens our immune system, and helps us to be emotionally stable. Prioritise sleep.
8. Identify your triggers
It could be that you always open a bottle of wine once the kids are asleep, or a biscuit with a cup of tea after dinner and you don’t even stop to think whether you really want it or not.
9. Identify your barriers
While you’re thinking about triggers, identify your barriers. Once you’ve worked out what has gotten in the way in the past (lack of time?) you can put a plan in place to directly address it.
10. Adjust your serving size
We usually eat about 80 per cent of what is put in front of us. This is how serving size is directly related to how much we eat. We eat 44 per cent more from big containers. If weight loss is a focus for you, serve less food for yourself. You can always go back for seconds 20 minutes later if you’re still truly hungry.
11. Be kind to yourself
Remember that progress is very rarely a straight line, it dips up and down but over time heads in the right direction. It also takes time. Don’t beat yourself up. The goal should focus on improvement, not perfection.
If you’ve got an hour up your sleeve while you’re relaxing on the beach this summer- check out this webinar on behaviour change. There are a few things that really hit home for me!