Turn Your Goals into Habits
As the glamour of the “new year, new you” starts to fade, don’t give up on the goals you made for yourself. If you feel like you have started to slack on your goals, remember that lifestyle changes are not like fad diets with a start and end date. They take time, consistency, and even failure to be successful. Don’t focus on being perfect and doing everything right each day. Instead, focus on showing up and trying. It can take 1-2 months to build a habit, so don’t let those goals fall to the back of the line. Here are some ways to stay mindful of your goals:
Make a visible list for yourself
Life gets busy and your everyday goals may not be at the forefront of your mind when you have other things going. Plan ahead and make your goals visible as a reminder. It doesn’t have to be a work of art, just a plain piece of paper with your goals listed will do. Hang it somewhere you will see it each day like your bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, or even make it your phone background.
Set alarms or reminders
Part of turning your goals into habits is making it a part of your everyday routine. Adding new things is not always easy, but you can make it simple by setting daily reminders on your phone. Before you know it, you won’t think twice before drinking that extra glass of water or getting some extra steps in.
Set yourself up for success by utilizing new technology! Download a diet tracking app like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt!, or Lifesum to become more aware of what you are eating. These apps can also provide feedback on your food choices, exercise tracking, recipe ideas, and a community of people with like-minded goals.
Turning your goals into habits takes consistency and accountability. With a bit of creativity and planning, you can make it easier for yourself to stay on track and not move goals to the back burner.
Mary Cate is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health Lakeside. Her love of food and nutrition stems from many years of playing sports and growing up in a family that loves to cook. Her goal is to help people learn that nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and that it should be an enjoyable part of our lives.