When you set out to accomplish something important – like cooking and eating better, reaching your ideal weight (and staying there!) or starting a new workout program – what do you do when things get hard and plans go haywire?
You know…you’re too tired to cook. You get sick and can’t workout. Your colleague brings a box of donuts to the team meeting.
Do you stay committed or do you throw in the towel?
Most of us feel like giving up when the going gets tough and we wonder…“is it ever going to get easier?”
But the truth is, every worthwhile endeavor comes with a slew of obstacles, and the best way to stop quitting and start committing to your goals is to make the process of attaining them as painless as possible.
Here are three simple, yet often overlooked, strategies that’ll take you from serial quitter to committer, so you can stick with your health goals.
How NOT to be a Serial Quitter
1// Make This Your Mantra: “Something is better than nothing.”
The “all or nothing” mentality is a dangerous one. It’s extreme and can make one little slip-up feel like a fatal failure.
Instead, try upgrading your mindset with the belief that anything that you do that moves you closer to your health goals (no matter how small it may seem) is better than doing nothing at all.
If you ate McGreasy’s for breakfast and lunch, but ate a healthy dinner; if you skipped the gym, but did a few sit-ups during the commercial break; if you were stressed all day, but spent 2 minutes meditating before bed…remind yourself that you’re on the right track, progress is progress and something is always better than nothing.
2// Don’t Take Things Out. Add Better Things In.
When we set out to achieve our health goals, we tend to think about all the things we need to avoid (French fries, cake, all day couch-a-thons, stress, late nights), but this can cause feelings of deprivation, overwhelm, and (especially in the case of French fries) some serious FOMO.
A better, and more enjoyable, approach is to focus on how you can add MORE good things in to your diet and your life.
Need some ideas?
Try my Swap It, Don’t Drop It strategy, and learn how to heathify all of your favorite foods (like French fries and cake) so you can keep them on the menu.
Then, bulk up your meals and snacks by crowding in extra fruits and veggies at every meal. Having a skillet for breakfast? Mix in a handful of spinach. A sandwich for lunch? Pile on the sprouts. Lasagna for dinner? Layer in sautéed mushrooms and peppers.
Lastly, think about how you can incorporate more health-promoting activities (that you love) into your daily routine.
Maybe snowshoeing or ice skating gets blended into your regular workout routine. Perhaps you schedule down-time for rest and rejuvenation at the end of each week. It could be that you buy cozy new PJ’s or bedding for a better night’s sleep. Be creative and have fun thinking about all exciting little things you can do to add more health-promoting goodness into your days.
3// Make The Healthy Choice The Easy Choice.
Most of us know what we “should” be doing to reach our health goals, BUT if those things aren’t convenient for us, we likely won’t do them. That’s human nature. We’re hard wired to take the path of least resistance.
If you want to stay committed to your healthy choices, you have to make them the easy choice.
This could mean:
- having a consistent meal plan each week so you don’t have to spend time thinking about what you’re going to eat
- buying a few workout DVD’s or free weights so you can workout at home when you don’t feel like hitting the gym
- setting a timer on your phone to remind you to go to bed earlier and get more sleep
You can also flip this strategy on its head by making the unhealthy choice the inconvenient choice. By removing temptations (like those cookies in the pantry) and limiting your exposure to the things that throw you off track, you’ll need a lot less will power to stay committed to your goals.
Now, I’d really love to get your take on this. Do you struggle to commit to your health goals? If so, what do you think of these strategies? Might you give them a try? LMK in the comments below.
And remember, sticking with your goals (and crushing em‘) starts with a “can-do” mindset. Believe that you WILL, because I know that you CAN! You’ve got this! 😉
With all my love,