February 2023: Three Helpful Strategies to Help You Create New Habits and Reach Your Goals
Last month I shared some ideas for setting goals and strategies for achieving them. This month I want to talk about committing to healthy living by creating habits that are sustainable in your life.
A habit is simply a routine that you practice consistently to the point that it becomes automatic. We have so much to think about on a day to day basis, and lots of decisions to make in our lives, so the number of decisions we need to make, and having to think about the actions we need to take in order to reach our goals, can quickly become a barrier. Creating some strategies that you use consistently will help you make these regular decisions and actions more of a habit with some practice, and you’ll find yourself breaking down those barriers in no time.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about three simple strategies to help you build habits that will support your goals, and be sustainable for the long term..
Plan Ahead: Half the battle is having a plan. Have you ever heard of decision fatigue? It’s just what it sounds like - that sense of exhaustion in having to make another darn decision. I find this happens to me at the end of the day, but for you it could be in the morning when rushing to get out the door, or at another time during the day or week. Personally, I’ve been making decisions all day long, and if I don’t have a plan for dinner I’m going to really struggle to make a decision about what to eat.
Take time on the weekends to map out what you are planning to eat each day. If this feels like a daunting and time consuming task, start with the meal that gives you the most difficulty. Then, make a list of the ingredients you need to have in the house to make these meals happen.
Taking some time to prep some of the ingredients can help make the task of preparing the meal that much easier. You don’t need to spend hours preparing for the entire week. Consider what is the biggest thorn in your side when it comes time to make the meal and try to get it prepped in advance. It’s just going to make it that much easier when it comes to meal time.
Here are some ideas:
Make Healthy Swaps: It’s not unusual to feel like we need to completely overhaul the way that we eat in order to make an impact on our overall health and wellness, but this usually just leaves us feeling deprived and overwhelmed. Instead of changing everything, consider making some healthy swaps at meal time.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share some foods that can help you lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol to provide a little extra incentive to swap in some of these beneficial foods.
I often talk to people about their goal to eliminate prescription drugs such as drugs for high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and hope you find this to be a helpful resource.
You can also prep these items ahead of time 😁
10 Foods to Help Lower LDL:
Here are some swap out ideas for you to consider:
Habit Stack: Habit stacking is a great strategy for creating new habits. One of the new challenges of creating a new habit is remembering to do it when we’re first developing it. Additionally, the key to making a new routine a habit is doing many repetitions of practice to cement the new routine into a habit. The more frequently and consistently you can practice the faster it becomes a habit. Habit stacking stacks a new habit on top of an already existing habit, something that you’re already doing on a regular basis.
Here are a few examples of habit stacking:
I hope you find these strategies helpful for building new, healthy habits into your life. Need extra help? Check out our Powerful Habits for a Powerful Life Resource Guide!
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Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.