Strayed Off Course? Get Back on Track to Meet Healthy Lifestyle Goals

Reviewed Mar 1, 2016

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Summary

  • Recognize that you have fallen off track, and remember the reasons for your initial commitment.
  • Try something new.
  • Go slow, but steady.

You try to eat right, work out regularly and live a generally healthy life. That takes a daily pledge in the form of nonstop reminders to stay on course. But life is full of diversions, and even your unwavering devotion to diet and exercise can slip into inactivity. Your motivation wanes, and you feel yourself beginning to slide off the rails.

It may be time to revisit the reasons you decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle in the first place, and at the same time take stock of your physical, emotional and mental well-being. A slight change in your routine¯or trying something new¯could spark a renewed interest in leading a healthy way of life.

Recognize that you have fallen off track

Recognizing that you have fallen off track is key to regenerating your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, says Bryan Hatcher, a licensed clinical social worker and director of Center Development and Education for CareNet, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

The realization, Hatcher says, will spur memories of a time when life was better, and you were in a better place, figuratively speaking.

“Once you make that recognition, then that’s where the motivation comes in,” he says. It’s easy to commit to change, but without a way or a system to keep up that change, making the change could be hard.

Ask yourself this: Why did I start this behavior, whether that means, for example, initiating a workout regimen, eating healthier or quitting smoking? What was my original call? What moved me then? Why was it important?

First remember, and then regroup, Hatcher says.

Find a buddy; foster accountability

You can’t do it alone, Hatcher says. Whether it is your spouse, life partner, friend or pet, commit to finding someone who is waiting for you at a preplanned time. If you enjoy running, Hatcher says, find some buddies and make regular meetings to run. You can also meet friends, family or co-workers for regular walks. Because you’ve made a commitment to meet your friends, Hatcher says, there’s a greater chance you’ll stay with the program.

Some people need support, and even a little push, which friends and family can give. If you decide to begin eating healthier, do it as a family or, in a larger sense, as a community. Eat at restaurants with healthier choices and spread the word. Promote change as a group, where many people can become involved. Instead of bringing doughnuts to work to share, try a cheese or vegetable tray, Hatcher says.

If you are trying to change your workout habits, it may be helpful to join a class—such as a stretching, yoga or water aerobics class—where others have similar goals. Going to a scheduled class can help foster accountability. If you don’t want to join a gym, establish a time to work out to fitness DVDs at home.

Tell someone else about your goals and plans. You will be making a pledge to another person, who will remind you of your goals. This makes it less likely that your plan for change will fall by the wayside.

A personal trainer offers that same accountability. There has been limited research, but studies have shown that personal trainers can help people stick to their workout routines more effectively than they would on their own, according to Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. A trainer can also help ensure that you breathe properly and follow proper form when exercising.

You may also want to contact a personal life coach. A life coach is a licensed professional who can help you identify your goals and make an action plan to reach them. A life coach can help you quit smoking, lose weight, make an exercise plan or meet other healthy lifestyle goals.

Go slow, but steady

Methodical, manageable change is sustainable change. Make subtle changes in your diet, such as substituting yogurt for ice cream or having fruit with every meal, as opposed to raiding your cabinets and tossing everything that has sugar. Or, try to gradually cut back on the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Start with one such change each day.

“If change is too quick and too radical, most of us are not going to stick to it,” Hatcher says. “You have to slowly ease into things.”

Track your progress

Tools such as ChooseMyPlate, Eat Smart. Play Hard™ Healthy Lifestyle and Smokefree.gov include features dedicated to helping people learn about and keep up a healthy lifestyle. For instance, you can follow and track eating habits, make daily menu and exercise plans or follow a step-by-step guide to quit using tobacco. Free apps are also available for notebooks and smart phones.

Reward yourself

Make plans to visit a park or go hiking, buy new running shoes or exercise equipment, buy a good book, take a cooking class that helps you prepare healthier meals, download new music or get a massage.

Resources

ChooseMyPlate
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Smokefree.gov
http://smokefree.gov/

SuperTracker
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-tools/supertracker.html

By John Trump
Source: Bryan Hatcher, MDiv/LCSW, director of Center Development and Education for CareNet, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC; ”Finding a Personal Fitness Trainer” by R. Morgan Griffin, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/finding-personal-fitness-trainer; “Did You Exercise Today? Reward Yourself!” by Mayo Clinic staff, www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-tip/HT00400; U.S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Summary

  • Recognize that you have fallen off track, and remember the reasons for your initial commitment.
  • Try something new.
  • Go slow, but steady.

You try to eat right, work out regularly and live a generally healthy life. That takes a daily pledge in the form of nonstop reminders to stay on course. But life is full of diversions, and even your unwavering devotion to diet and exercise can slip into inactivity. Your motivation wanes, and you feel yourself beginning to slide off the rails.

It may be time to revisit the reasons you decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle in the first place, and at the same time take stock of your physical, emotional and mental well-being. A slight change in your routine¯or trying something new¯could spark a renewed interest in leading a healthy way of life.

Recognize that you have fallen off track

Recognizing that you have fallen off track is key to regenerating your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, says Bryan Hatcher, a licensed clinical social worker and director of Center Development and Education for CareNet, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

The realization, Hatcher says, will spur memories of a time when life was better, and you were in a better place, figuratively speaking.

“Once you make that recognition, then that’s where the motivation comes in,” he says. It’s easy to commit to change, but without a way or a system to keep up that change, making the change could be hard.

Ask yourself this: Why did I start this behavior, whether that means, for example, initiating a workout regimen, eating healthier or quitting smoking? What was my original call? What moved me then? Why was it important?

First remember, and then regroup, Hatcher says.

Find a buddy; foster accountability

You can’t do it alone, Hatcher says. Whether it is your spouse, life partner, friend or pet, commit to finding someone who is waiting for you at a preplanned time. If you enjoy running, Hatcher says, find some buddies and make regular meetings to run. You can also meet friends, family or co-workers for regular walks. Because you’ve made a commitment to meet your friends, Hatcher says, there’s a greater chance you’ll stay with the program.

Some people need support, and even a little push, which friends and family can give. If you decide to begin eating healthier, do it as a family or, in a larger sense, as a community. Eat at restaurants with healthier choices and spread the word. Promote change as a group, where many people can become involved. Instead of bringing doughnuts to work to share, try a cheese or vegetable tray, Hatcher says.

If you are trying to change your workout habits, it may be helpful to join a class—such as a stretching, yoga or water aerobics class—where others have similar goals. Going to a scheduled class can help foster accountability. If you don’t want to join a gym, establish a time to work out to fitness DVDs at home.

Tell someone else about your goals and plans. You will be making a pledge to another person, who will remind you of your goals. This makes it less likely that your plan for change will fall by the wayside.

A personal trainer offers that same accountability. There has been limited research, but studies have shown that personal trainers can help people stick to their workout routines more effectively than they would on their own, according to Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. A trainer can also help ensure that you breathe properly and follow proper form when exercising.

You may also want to contact a personal life coach. A life coach is a licensed professional who can help you identify your goals and make an action plan to reach them. A life coach can help you quit smoking, lose weight, make an exercise plan or meet other healthy lifestyle goals.

Go slow, but steady

Methodical, manageable change is sustainable change. Make subtle changes in your diet, such as substituting yogurt for ice cream or having fruit with every meal, as opposed to raiding your cabinets and tossing everything that has sugar. Or, try to gradually cut back on the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Start with one such change each day.

“If change is too quick and too radical, most of us are not going to stick to it,” Hatcher says. “You have to slowly ease into things.”

Track your progress

Tools such as ChooseMyPlate, Eat Smart. Play Hard™ Healthy Lifestyle and Smokefree.gov include features dedicated to helping people learn about and keep up a healthy lifestyle. For instance, you can follow and track eating habits, make daily menu and exercise plans or follow a step-by-step guide to quit using tobacco. Free apps are also available for notebooks and smart phones.

Reward yourself

Make plans to visit a park or go hiking, buy new running shoes or exercise equipment, buy a good book, take a cooking class that helps you prepare healthier meals, download new music or get a massage.

Resources

ChooseMyPlate
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Smokefree.gov
http://smokefree.gov/

SuperTracker
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-tools/supertracker.html

By John Trump
Source: Bryan Hatcher, MDiv/LCSW, director of Center Development and Education for CareNet, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC; ”Finding a Personal Fitness Trainer” by R. Morgan Griffin, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/finding-personal-fitness-trainer; “Did You Exercise Today? Reward Yourself!” by Mayo Clinic staff, www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-tip/HT00400; U.S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Summary

  • Recognize that you have fallen off track, and remember the reasons for your initial commitment.
  • Try something new.
  • Go slow, but steady.

You try to eat right, work out regularly and live a generally healthy life. That takes a daily pledge in the form of nonstop reminders to stay on course. But life is full of diversions, and even your unwavering devotion to diet and exercise can slip into inactivity. Your motivation wanes, and you feel yourself beginning to slide off the rails.

It may be time to revisit the reasons you decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle in the first place, and at the same time take stock of your physical, emotional and mental well-being. A slight change in your routine¯or trying something new¯could spark a renewed interest in leading a healthy way of life.

Recognize that you have fallen off track

Recognizing that you have fallen off track is key to regenerating your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, says Bryan Hatcher, a licensed clinical social worker and director of Center Development and Education for CareNet, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

The realization, Hatcher says, will spur memories of a time when life was better, and you were in a better place, figuratively speaking.

“Once you make that recognition, then that’s where the motivation comes in,” he says. It’s easy to commit to change, but without a way or a system to keep up that change, making the change could be hard.

Ask yourself this: Why did I start this behavior, whether that means, for example, initiating a workout regimen, eating healthier or quitting smoking? What was my original call? What moved me then? Why was it important?

First remember, and then regroup, Hatcher says.

Find a buddy; foster accountability

You can’t do it alone, Hatcher says. Whether it is your spouse, life partner, friend or pet, commit to finding someone who is waiting for you at a preplanned time. If you enjoy running, Hatcher says, find some buddies and make regular meetings to run. You can also meet friends, family or co-workers for regular walks. Because you’ve made a commitment to meet your friends, Hatcher says, there’s a greater chance you’ll stay with the program.

Some people need support, and even a little push, which friends and family can give. If you decide to begin eating healthier, do it as a family or, in a larger sense, as a community. Eat at restaurants with healthier choices and spread the word. Promote change as a group, where many people can become involved. Instead of bringing doughnuts to work to share, try a cheese or vegetable tray, Hatcher says.

If you are trying to change your workout habits, it may be helpful to join a class—such as a stretching, yoga or water aerobics class—where others have similar goals. Going to a scheduled class can help foster accountability. If you don’t want to join a gym, establish a time to work out to fitness DVDs at home.

Tell someone else about your goals and plans. You will be making a pledge to another person, who will remind you of your goals. This makes it less likely that your plan for change will fall by the wayside.

A personal trainer offers that same accountability. There has been limited research, but studies have shown that personal trainers can help people stick to their workout routines more effectively than they would on their own, according to Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. A trainer can also help ensure that you breathe properly and follow proper form when exercising.

You may also want to contact a personal life coach. A life coach is a licensed professional who can help you identify your goals and make an action plan to reach them. A life coach can help you quit smoking, lose weight, make an exercise plan or meet other healthy lifestyle goals.

Go slow, but steady

Methodical, manageable change is sustainable change. Make subtle changes in your diet, such as substituting yogurt for ice cream or having fruit with every meal, as opposed to raiding your cabinets and tossing everything that has sugar. Or, try to gradually cut back on the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Start with one such change each day.

“If change is too quick and too radical, most of us are not going to stick to it,” Hatcher says. “You have to slowly ease into things.”

Track your progress

Tools such as ChooseMyPlate, Eat Smart. Play Hard™ Healthy Lifestyle and Smokefree.gov include features dedicated to helping people learn about and keep up a healthy lifestyle. For instance, you can follow and track eating habits, make daily menu and exercise plans or follow a step-by-step guide to quit using tobacco. Free apps are also available for notebooks and smart phones.

Reward yourself

Make plans to visit a park or go hiking, buy new running shoes or exercise equipment, buy a good book, take a cooking class that helps you prepare healthier meals, download new music or get a massage.

Resources

ChooseMyPlate
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Smokefree.gov
http://smokefree.gov/

SuperTracker
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-tools/supertracker.html

By John Trump
Source: Bryan Hatcher, MDiv/LCSW, director of Center Development and Education for CareNet, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC; ”Finding a Personal Fitness Trainer” by R. Morgan Griffin, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/finding-personal-fitness-trainer; “Did You Exercise Today? Reward Yourself!” by Mayo Clinic staff, www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-tip/HT00400; U.S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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