If you’re trying to make some changes going into the new year it takes more than just setting goals and going after them. While setting goals is a great start, figuring out your limiting factors or identifying the reasons you get out of sorts in the first place is equally as important. This will help you plan out action steps to meet your goals. So initially you may want to “Work in reverse”!
1. Identify what habits you have developed around eating.
Do you skip breakfast or other meals, eat out a lot, do you know how to cook, do you go shopping weekly, are your cabinets full of unhealthy foods, do you eat with your family or friends who are not trying to lose weight, do you wait until you are excessively hungry before eating, etc?
2. Of those habits, which ones can you take action on to make a change that would have the biggest impact on all of the rest?
Going shopping weekly and purchasing healthy food options can solve needing to stop for fast food, not having food for breakfast, and not having healthy food options to snack on.
3. Now “Work In Reverse”
In the example above, not going shopping weekly would seem to be one of the root causes of not eating healthy meals and snacks day to day. It is not that simple; you may not know what healthy foods are, you may not know how to prepare them, you may not own a lunch bag to pack a lunch and snacks, you may be rushed in the morning with little time, or too tired at night to prepare even though you have gone shopping, etc.
You have to sit down and really think. You have to come up with a plan and attempt to see the unforeseen obstacles. You may have to get up early to have time for breakfast and preparing lunch. You may have to go buy a mini cooler to bring to work. You may have to sit down with your family and come up with a grocery list. You may have to take cooking classes or invest in some nutrition programs to learn how to eat healthy. It is more than just setting a goal to eat healthy and exercise. Keep working in reverse until you identify each of the action steps needed to maintain success. It is a process that requires persistent effort.