It’s important to set yourself realistic goals with an idea of what you’d like to achieve in mind. If you overburden yourself with an unattainable list of goals, you’re likely to set yourself up for frustration and disappointment.
• Extrinsic e.g. Eating habits, food choices, exercise, shopping, reading food labels, health outcomes, etc.
• Intrinsic e.g. Comfort eating, stress management, self-esteem, negative thought patterns, assertiveness, etc.
Too many people approach their health with an all-or-nothing attitude. Good health should stem from the aim for continuous healthy lifestyle choices. By making small, positive decisions every day, you’ll be on your way to a healthier you. Small things like drinking a glass of water instead of soft drink, or choosing salad instead of chips at a restaurant will move you closer to your goal. Use these daily positive actions as your benchmark for getting closer to your objectives.
It can be very rewarding to see your daily activities documented when you’re trying to implement habitual change. If your resolution is to eat five serves of vegetables each day or drink eight glasses of water, keep a notebook and tally up your daily intake or use an online diary such as MyFitnessPal. If your goal is to increase your daily activity, don’t forget to put on your activity tracker each morning and track your steps using your online account. It will give you a buzz to know hitting your daily goal is getting you closer to your long-term objective!
If you know you’re going to find it difficult to fit exercise into your schedule, utilise as many opportunities as you can to naturally incorporate it into your day. Some suggestions include:
• Make a promise to yourself to always take the stairs rather than the lift.
• Implement an email-free day at work where you walk to your colleagues’ offices to talk.
• Walk to the shops on a Sunday morning for the milk rather than driving.
Develop a system of non-food related rewards for behaviours that support your goals. Don’t wait until the very end – set milestones and reward yourself as you go.
Overall, remember your goals are an ongoing process, not an overnight transformation. Don’t let another six months slip by.