Have bad habits kept you from reaching your New Year’s Resolution in years past? You’re not alone! Less than 10% of all resolution makers actually achieve their desired resolution by year’s end.
If you’d like to count yourself among that 10%, you’ll need to find ways to beat bad habits, even at your most vulnerable. Luckily, we’ve got a few pointers to kick even the peskiest saboteurs.
The Habit: Eating junk food in moments of stress or boredom
The Fix: Only stock healthy food at home.
It’s easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist it. Think about what your trigger foods are and create a home environment that is conducive to your success. At work, remove all tempting foods from your workstation and avoid areas of the office that are tempting: if the breakroom or cafeteria is a trigger, make it off-limits.
Find ways to deal with stress that don’t involve food. Consider your stress-busting style: are you someone who unwinds during a high intensity workout, or someone who prefers to sit in quiet and read or listen to relaxing music? Each time you feel stress driving you to eat, turn to a habit that helps you destress.
Not sure where to get started?
Look for an activity that is engrossing to you, one in which your brain is completely fixated: phone games, social media, reading, writing, exercising, chatting with a friend, singing, knitting, or doing another chore or task can all help take your mind somewhere else, and off of food.
The Habit: Saying you’ll go to the gym after work…then losing motivation and heading home instead.
The Fix: Become an early exerciser.
While it’s difficult to adjust to early morning workouts, getting to bed early is the first crucial step. As you adjust your sleep pattern, you’ll be able to wake easier and feel more equipped to handle the rigors of an AM exercise session. Morning workouts are great because they take place before anything else can act as a deterrent: the morning hours before work are yours, so take advantage of them!
The Habit: Saying you’ll order a healthy entree…then giving into the fettucine alfredo.
The Fix: Look at the menu online and plan your order ahead of time.
Don’t give yourself time to browse the menu and talk yourself out of your intended order, and stick to the rule of one: you’re ordering an entree only, no appetizers, desserts, or drinks. Consider asking to pay the check once you order your entree so that you won’t be tempted to change your order
The Habit: Saying you’ll go to the gym…then never going.
The Fix: Create an exercise schedule, and stick to it.
Committing to exercising at a specific day and time every week, if possible is best. Reflect on why you want to exercise and how doing so will be of value to you, and keep that in mind as you work to incorporate that schedule into your life. Value your time commitment the same way you would value work or a doctor’s appointment.
Scheduling workouts is powerful: removing the ambiguity of what days and times you’ll exercise takes away the opportunity for you to give yourself the out at the last minute: knowing that the day and time is approaching gives you time to mentally prepare.
These methods for ditching bad habits really do work, as long as you do! Refer to these tips every day until you feel confident in your newly established, healthier habits.
It’s time to move on to step 3 of the SHAREFIT Guide to a Healthier You in the New Year, where you’ll learn about one of the most overlooked way to greatly improve your health.
Morgan Medeiros is a certified nutritionist, holding a both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Morgan completed her undergraduate education at Central Washington University, and her graduate education at Northeastern University. During her time as a graduate student, Morgan focused her area of expertise in health education, weight management, and behavioral change. Morgan has experience working in areas of nutritional neuroscience and disease prevention, obesity prevention, and weight loss. Morgan also works in areas of nutritional analysis and menu labeling for restaurants, where she is able to creatively bridge her interest in food culture and health education. In her free time, Morgan enjoys traveling, reading, writing, running, and spending time with her family and friends (including- most importantly- her dog, Clyde).