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Whenever we set any type of healthy living goal, whether it’s New Year’s resolutions or any other type of goal, it’s pretty easy to stay excited and motivated at the very beginning. But it usually doesn’t take very long until the excitement starts to wear off and keeping those goals starts to seem more and more challenging and eventually we lose motivation altogether.
There have been plenty of times that I’ve found myself falling into this pattern, but over the years I’ve found a few things that have helped me to stay on track and keep making progress toward accomplishing my goals (at least most of them anyways!)
So, whether you’re trying to eat healthier this year, or get more exercise, or live a more natural lifestyle, or whatever else, hopefully some of these six tips can help you to stay motivated to meet your healthy living goals.
6 Simple Tips to Help You Meet Your Healthy Living Goals:
1) Focus on Adding Rather than Subtracting
A lot of times when we set healthy living goals like eating healthier or exercising more, we focus on the things that we can’t do any more. The things that we’re going to be subtracting from our lives.
We make lists of all of the unhealthy foods that we’re not allowed to eat any more, and the emphasis becomes quite negative when our goal centers around all of the “bad” foods that we shouldn’t eat.
But if we put the focus on adding in all of the healthy and nourishing foods that are full of vitamins and minerals, then the goal becomes much more positive because we are focused on adding in all of the foods that we know will help us to be healthier rather than trying to avoid all of the foods that we shouldn’t eat.
2) Turn Goals Into Small and Specific Steps
When we have big general goals like “Eat Healthier” or “Be More Active,” it can sometimes be challenging to actually make progress toward achieving those goals because they are so general and vague.
Taking action on those goals is much easier when we can turn the general goals into smaller and more specific steps to accomplish.
“Eat Healthier,” for example, could be broken down into smaller goals like “Try one new vegetable each week” or “Make a home-cooked meal rather than getting take-out.” And “Be More Active” could become “Sign up for an exercise class” or “Learn how to play a new sport.”
Whatever your goal for the year might be, it will seem more attainable if you have some specific steps to take rather than just a vague goal.
3) Stay Accountable to Someone
This is one of the most popular tips when it comes to achieving goals and for good reason! When nobody else knows about the goal you’re trying to accomplish, then it’s a whole lot easier to talk yourself out of keeping those goals. But when you tell someone else about your goal and when you know that they might even be asking your about the progress you’ve been making, then it’s a lot easier to stay motivated.
You could do this in a more formal way by signing up for a class because then you have someone keeping track of whether or not you show up (and this is even more effective if you’re paying money for the class because then you won’t want to waste your money.)
Or you could do this in an informal way by just telling a few friends about your goal or by setting up a time to go walking with other friends who are trying to exercise more or by swapping meal plans with friends who are trying to eat healthier.
Or, if you don’t know of anyone who could keep you accountable for your goals, then you can share what your goal is in the comments below!
4) Establish Consistent Routines
It’s a lot easier to stick to your goals when you have established routines set up that include your goals. If you’re trying to stay more active, for example, then having a routine like taking your dog for a walk at the same time everyday will make it seem more natural to keep that goal. (And since dogs are very routine-oriented animals, it’s almost impossible not to stick with the routine! My dog never lets me forget when it’s walk time.)
If you don’t have a dog, then it can help to associate your exercise time with a certain part of the day like taking a walk every day before breakfast, or before lunch, or whatever works best with your schedule. The consistency is the most important part.
Once you have an established routine set up, then sticking to your goals will much easier because you’ll simply be doing your usual routine and you won’t have to try so hard to keep your goals.
5) Set Up A Reward System
Having a reward to look forward to when you accomplish your goal makes staying on track a lot easier and much more fun.
Depending on how big of a goal you’re trying to accomplish, you could give yourself a big reward like a trip someplace fun or maybe a more expensive item that you wouldn’t normally buy. Or it could be something small like trying a new shade of a natural lipstick or getting some good quality organic chocolate. The actual reward doesn’t really matter as long as it’s something that you’re excited about and that you’ll really look forward to getting.
And if your goal is broken down into several smaller steps, then you can set up a series of smaller rewards for yourself. Sometimes this can be even better than having one big reward at the end because it helps to keep you motivated and gives you lots of little successes along the way.
6) Keep Learning New Things
Learning new things related to your goal is a great way to stay motivated, especially if you have a long-term goal. If you’re trying to eat a healthier diet, for example, then getting some cookbooks to try some new recipes or experimenting with some new cooking techniques can help your healthy diet to seem fresh and fun rather than a dull routine.
Learning some new exercise routines or learning how to play a new spot can make staying more active seem like more fun, and if you want to live a more natural lifestyle, than you could learn more about how to reduce the toxins in your home or try out some natural DIY recipes.
Reading books has always been one of my favorite ways to learn new things, and having a big library of books is a great way to say motivated to keep making progress toward your healthy living goals because there are so many new things you can learn. So if you’re looking for some new book ideas, you can check out my “Books” page to see my books and some of my favorites that I recommend.
And if you have any other tips for staying on track with your healthy living goals, let us know in the comments!