When it comes to changing your diet you may often try taking on too much which leads to burn out and falling right back into old habits. There’s a reason most diets don’t work, are too hard to stick to, and have a very low success rate…they are just too much!!
And not only that…they are short-term leading to no REAL or lasting change. So guess what? You simply have to keep going on diets over and over again…forever.
Been there, done that…it is NOT fun!
So I want to encourage you to trash the dieting mentality and instead focus on creating a long-term strategy. One that’s easy to stick to. One that becomes a habit, a part of your lifestyle, and that’s really simple so your success rate goes through the roof.
And the way to do that is by focusing on one new goal or habit each month.
Yes it really is that simple.
This focus goal is something you can work on each day, that’s specific, measurable, and that you feel confident you can achieve.
It may not seem like much but at the end of the year you’ll have built 12 new habits! You’ll have changed 12 things about the way you eat. You’ll be fitter, slimmer, healthier, and have more energy all with so much less effort! Your efforts will be lasting!
So here’s how you can get started:
Pick a goal to focus on that is:
- Specific and measurable – It needs to be something you can do every day and that you know you achieved or didn’t. Being vague, like saying “I want to eat less sugar” is hard to measure. Make it specific, such as “I’m going to avoid my post-dinner sugary treat”.
- Pick something you are 85-90% confident you can achieve – It should be a little challenging but not so challenging you give up after 3 days.
If you’re not sure where to start simply make a list of 3-5 things you currently struggle with when it comes to your diet. Maybe it’s drinking too much alcohol, or eating too much sugar. Maybe you tend to skip breakfast or don’t get enough protein at each meal.
If you’re still not sure log your food for 3-5 days. You’ll start to be more aware of some old habits popping up as well as some areas that need work.
From that list pick 1 thing that will have the most impact on your current goals and that’s a little bit challenging. If you have a lot of things listed, don’t worry, start with one and we’ll move onto another next month!
Track your progress on a calendar.
Check off each day you achieve your goal. Psychologically you don’t want to Break the Chain and visually its a reminder if you’re on track or not. And we can easily hold you accountable so be prepared for check-ins and to turn in your calendar each month!
Need some inspiration? Here are some examples:
- Cutting from two sodas a day to one during month 1 then finally to zero during month 2 and replacing it with water or something healthier like water or tea.
- Eating a homemade balanced breakfast rather than a quick granola bar or McDonalds.
- Getting a serving of protein or fats at each meal. Remember be specific. Saying “I’ll eat more protein” is not specific enough. And maybe having 4 servings a day seems too daunting. Simply make the goal even smaller. Maybe you will start with just 2 servings of protein each day and build over time.
- Instead of eliminating sugar (which you may not be that confident about) instead pick one area to focus on such as the mid afternoon treat or post dinner snacking.
- Reducing any processed foods or snacks and replacing them with whole fruits, veggies, and foods. This may be replacing your mid afternoon crackers with fresh veggies and hummus.
- Taking your probiotics or fish oil supplements daily.
- Finding a new recipe to enjoy each day to prevent boredom and find ways to enjoy health food.
Initially, working on these goals will take some effort and some willpower. It’ll be more of a challenge at the beginning, but something surprising will start to happen toward the end. Achieving that goal each day will be easier. It won’t take as much thought.
When this happens you know it’s become a habit. And that’s when you can move onto your next goals. Depending on the goal this could take 21-30 days and sometimes longer so be sure to only move on when you’re ready AND if you find you were a bit overzealous to start don’t be afraid to create an even smaller goal.
There’s no goal too small if it’s pushing you to be your best 😉
So what is your next goal going to be?