Despite our good intentions to stick with healthy habits, life’s distractions and unexpected changes can derail us and keep us stuck. Even our own mindset can sabotage our quest to get healthier. Nevertheless, it’s not too late to get back on track, no matter what obstacle you’re facing. Here are some suggestions:
Adopt the habit of saying “I can” and “I will” vs. “I can’t” or “I won’t.” This simple self-talk tweak can boost your confidence and increase your chance of getting through many obstacles. Keeping reminders of your positive qualities and achievements handy can also help propel you through challenges.
Detect what emotions trigger bad habits. Notice if anxiety, boredom, loneliness or another emotion leads to overindulging in snacks or alcohol, mindless TV-watching or phone-scrolling. Next time you’re feeling this way, try taking a few slow deep breaths, focusing on the moment. Then get up, drink some water, go fold laundry, put on a playlist and dance, or call a friend.
Figure out a plan to stick to good habits. For instance, if a change in schedule affects your intention to eat better, try to pre-plan simple, nutritious meals for the week. Keep bowls of fruit in plain sight and healthy grab-and-go snacks handy.
Make a reasonable strategy to reach your goals. Say your goal is to walk a million steps to slim down by next month so you’ll have more energy and to fit into your jeans. Especially if you’ve been sedentary, it’s wiser to focus on a more achievable time frame that includes mini goals. Start by walking around more often and going to more neighborhoods (or paths) for six months, gradually adding time and distance each week.
Jot your worries in a journal. If anxious worries are stealing time from restorative sleep or being productive, set a specific time to write them out in a journal (list some solutions, too!). This can help train your brain to only worry at your designated journaling time.
Are physical or mental health issues holding you back? Speak to your health practitioner or a counselor to help you feel your best so you can move forward for better health.