The 5 step plan to change your habits for greater success

What does it take to make a goal or dream come true?  With the New Year coming this week, it’s easy to make huge and sometimes unrealistic goals. 

Let’s face it- 2020 has been rough for everyone.

Maybe your New Year goal is to work out more frequently, clean out the closet or run a 5K for the first time. 

We promise we are going to make the change tomorrow.  But tomorrow comes, and yet nothing changes.  Habits don’t change overnight, it takes making a solid plan. 

So how do we change our habits in order to reach a goal?

  1. Identify the habit you want to change.  Write down what habits you would like to change. Maybe it’s to eat healthier foods, quit smoking or exercising more often. Once you write down what you want to change, think about how you will feel once you change or remove the unhealthy habit. How will it improve your life?
  2. Start small.  Habits change when you start really small.  If your goal is to work out 5 days a week, but you have not exercised in months, then you will likely fail trying to exercise 5 days a week.  Start with exercising 1 time a week, then slowly increase each week or two until you reach your goal. Baby steps are the key!
  3. Remove any triggers.  If your goal is to eat healthier, but you can’t resist ice cream late at night when you are stressed, come up with a different plan when you feel stressed.  Try meditating for 10 minutes or deep breathing to relieve stress.  
  4. Replace the triggers with something else.  If ice cream and chips are a trigger for you to binge eat when bored or stressed, then when you are ready, toss them. It doesn’t mean you will never have ice cream or chips again, just until you feel confident in your new healthy habit.  You can try replacing the ice cream with a healthier frozen treat that would still satisfy your sweet tooth. 
  5. Visualize yourself changing and avoid negative talk. Spend time each day visualizing yourself enjoying your new healthy habits. Picture yourself having more energy for your kids, fitting into your favorite pair of old jeans or enjoying exercise. This kind of visualization really works. It is based on the concept that the more you think about something—and do it—the more it becomes wired in your brain.  Avoid negative self talk and retrain your brain with positive thoughts, such as “I am on my journey to becoming a healthier person” instead of “I am so overweight, I will never fit into my jeans again.”

In order to get what you want, something must change.  Research shows habits don’t start feeling “automatic” until you’ve done them for about 2 months. 

The key is to start very small and make a solid plan.  Go through this 5 step process and WRITE IT DOWN. Take 15 minutes to make your plan a reality. 





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