Four Simple Tips to Change a Habit
By Denise Shields, Certified Profile Coach
Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s a great time to think about adopting new habits. Setting good habits can be a powerful way to achieve your
goals and stay focused. Whether your goal is changing a bad habit or implementing a new one, there are some steps you can take to ensure your habit will
1. Start small.
Work on one change at a time, and select goals that are attainable and realistic. For example, if you are new to exercise, make it your goal to take a walk
three times per week, rain or shine, for at least 15 minutes. You don’t even have to go to the gym; many Profile members take their walks over the lunch
break. Each week, slowly add on 5-10 minutes until you meet your goal of 150 minutes of activity each week.
2. Put your plan in writing.
You’re more likely to hold yourself accountable if you put your goal in writing. When putting your plan on paper, remember to include details: a specific
length of time (start and end dates), your reasons (motivations) for changing, any obstacles you may face and strategies to overcome them. Make note of how
you feel at the beginning and throughout the process. There’s a good chance you’ll feel better with each day and will intrinsically motivate yourself to
continue this new habit for a lifetime.
3. Identify a support system.
It’s okay to lean on friends, family, co-workers or your Profile coach to support you and hold you accountable. From finding an exercise buddy to letting
your co-workers know that you’re no longer indulging in break room snacks, you’ll find that people are more than happy to help motivate you and keep you on
4. Reward yourself.
When setting your goal, identify certain milestones in your habit journey, and reward yourself regularly. Lost 30 pounds? Take yourself shopping for new
clothes. Did you finally hit your 150-minute activity goal? Treat yourself to a movie and pack your own healthy snacks. These little motivators do wonders
to keep you reaching for that next milestone.
You’ll learn many things about yourself during your weight loss journey, including how you adopt new habits or break old ones. Remember that change doesn’t
happen overnight; give yourself the gift of time to be successful in your habit change process.