Any new routine can be difficult to begin, and those intended for weight management are no different! Humans are habitual creatures, and change can be extremely difficult to adapt to. They often leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and even unmotivated.
Why Having a Routine is Important
For the very reasons that beginning a weight management routine can be hard, it’s also extremely valuable to our long-term success. As mentioned before, humans are habitual creatures. Once our bodies and brains are accustomed to certain behaviors, they stick. In fact, research suggests it takes 20 – 60 days for habits to form depending on the individual.
Why is this so important for weight management? When making the best decisions possible for our weight, many behavioral components are involved – from selecting healthy foods at the grocery store to cooking appropriate meals, exercising often and visiting the doctor. Having a healthy, dependable routine in place can help us stick to these behaviors without veering too far.
Tips for Beginning a New Routine
Are you trying to begin a new weight management routine to keep you on-track? Backing your routine behind a solid plan can help you reach your weight and health goals. Consider this:
- Assess Your Goals – What is it that you are trying to accomplish over time? Are they SMART Goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-driven)?
- Get a Calendar – Looking at the goals we’ve set for certain dates and times can keep us accountable. Make sure you look at it frequently, if not every day!
- Decide Your Mission – Some common elements in a weight management routine include waking up early to cook a healthy breakfast/exercise, dedicating one specific morning each week for grocery shopping, and scheduling your workout for the same days and time frames.
- Communicate – Make your friends and family aware of your routine so they won’t unknowingly convince you to break it. They can also help keep you accountable.
- Stay Inspired – Maybe it’s regularly reflecting on your goals or tracking your progress.
- Prepare for Rough Spots – You will often be faced with temptation, stress or peer pressure.
- Write it Down – Just like using a calendar, journal about your routine and progress frequently.
- Schedule Time – Time to relax, meditate, reflect or simply rejuvenate from all your hard work.
- Stay Consistent – No matter how hard the going gets, stick to your routine and don’t budge.
Now on to the Bad Habits…
Before you can begin a weight management routine, you sometimes have to identify bad habits and commit to breaking them. Not sure how? CLICK HERE for a quick how-to guide.