Making a change, any sort of change, comes with challenges. Even when the change is a good one (getting married, starting a family, buying your first home, getting a puppy), there are still stressors and pitfalls. Your journey to better health is no different. Just because you WANT to make a change, doesn’t mean it will happen overnight. For many, poor eating and exercise habits have been part of your lifestyle for years, maybe even decades. Expecting those ingrained tendencies just to “disappear” and be replaced by better ones is unrealistic and sets you up for failure. Similarly, thinking, “I just keep making mistakes, why even bother?” is just as silly and unrealistic. The truth is, change is hard, no matter the intended outcome.

So, what do you do? Here are 5 tips for overcoming obstacles, specifically for your health and nutrition, but applicable for anything.

  1. Have a plan. You can’t reach a goal if you don’t have a plan. In fact, a goal without a plan is just a dream. Make a plan. Think through the obstacles. Think about the steps necessary to get from where you currently are to where you want to be.
  2. Enlist help. No man is an island. We are social creatures. Feeling like we have support and aren’t alone is essential for success. Find a trainer, a friend, your family. Get involved in an online support group. Whatever it takes, find a way to hold yourself accountable and to make sure you have someone to pick you up when you’re struggling to get through on your own.
  3. Focus on today. When you look at the entire journey all at once, it’s bound to be overwhelming. So don’t. Let your future goal motivate you, but focus on the present moment. Party on the weekend and you’re not sure you can resist the dessert table? Don’t worry about that today; today, focus on making good choices at each meal, each snack, every time you’re tempted. Worry about that dessert table when you’re standing in front of it. And, refer back to tip 1 to be prepared for such things!
  4. Remind yourself of the why. Why are you doing this? Why are you trying to make the change? If you’re doing it to please others or because you think you “should”, dig deeper. Lasting change can only occur if YOU want it. Don’t let superficial or external motivators be your guide; those pushes will never be as strong as your own will.
  5. Give yourself grace. Change is hard. There will be struggles. There will be set-backs. That’s not failing, it’s just another opportunity to try. Very few things in life that are worth having come easily. So accept that things did not go as desired or planned and try again. You’re doing just fine.

For help making a plan, exploring your motivations, and finding support, come in to CoreLife today.

Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN