If you’re determined to set some new goals and make some changes to your routine, keep this list handy - these evidence-backed tips might help make those healthy habits stick, for good.
1. Start small
By all means, aim high, but break it down into small daily wins. The resolutions people actually keep tend to be tangible, achievable goals. The ones that fail are too grand and vague: goals like “exercise more”, “eat healthier” don’t offer solutions, they just reframe the problem. Instead of “Eat 7 different fruits and vegetables every day,” try “Make fruit part of every breakfast”. Focus on that, and bigger changes will follow.
2. Think positive
Most people respond much better to reward than to punishment, so try to find the part of your resolution that’s about adding something positive. For example, taking away all your favorite treats is a big fat bummer. But when you resolve to add more vegetables to your diet, you’re doing something positive for your health and that feels great.
3. Build a winning streak
Once you’ve decided on a small, positive daily goal, find a place to record your progress - like a wall planner, and a big red marker. As you build your ‘winning streak’, you can see what you’ve accomplished – and you’ll be more motivated to continue.
4. Find your anchor
New, healthy habits get a massive boost when we find the right anchor in our existing daily routine. It could be as simple as putting a fruit bowl in the place where you usually reach for a cookie, or preparing your gym bag the night before and leaving it by the front door. Hitch your new behavior to a familiar one, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
5. Don't sweat the slip-ups
Success isn’t about avoiding failure at all costs, it’s about learning and getting better over time. And in fact research shows that the people who do best at resolution-keeping are the ones who recover from early setbacks, and get back on track. So every time you slip up (everyone does!), try to reframe it as a chance to come back stronger and wiser. Each time you restart your habit, you’re building your capacity to change things for good.
Need more support?
Our Registered Dietitians are standing by to give kencko members a helping hand with all your nutrition-related goals. One-to-one, confidential nutrition coaching is free to all active members - just head to the shop and sign up for a monthly plan to get started.