The National Institutes of Health says you’re more likely to stick to a change in your routine by taking one small step at a time — so break down your resolutions into bite-size chunks.
It’s helpful to envision your overall goal, but putting one foot in front of the other is easier than jumping in with two feet. Here are some simple tips to get you back on track.
First, keep your health on the forefront of your brain. You can do this by integrating health and fitness into your everyday life.
For example, how many times a day do you walk in and out of your house? Put an extra pair of gym shoes by the door. They’ll remind you that all you need to do is put on workout clothes, lace up and hit the gym or work out at home.
Speaking of working out at home, break down your workout plan into small parts. Instead of committing to an hour a day at the gym, make 30 minutes your goal. Reduce the length of your workout to make it less intimidating.
If you’re constantly snacking on unhealthy foods, that’s a problem. Try this: place an obstacle between you and those snacks. Line up water bottles on a shelf in the fridge, blocking fattening leftovers or desserts that you find yourself going back to multiple times a day.
You can do this in your pantry, too. Place water bottles in front of bags of chips, crackers, or cookies.
Then drink a full bottle before eating something unhealthy.
If you’re a nighttime eater, try this trick: Make eating less enticing by putting something on your hands, such as lotion. You can even paint your nails instead. You wouldn’t want to ruin your fresh manicure by digging into a bag of chips, and you wouldn’t want to eat candy that tastes like lotion.
Finally, focus on positive affirmations. Studies show that saying positive things to yourself helps improve your body image and self-esteem.
Write out a positive affirmation on a sticky note. Place these notes on your bathroom mirror or someplace that you look at daily. Then, you are in essence training your brain to think positive thoughts about yourself.
Editor’s Note: Stephanie Mansour is a weight-loss and lifestyle coach for women and author of “Step It Up With Steph” blog. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.