Ways to Stay on Track When Making Healthier Choices

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
en Español

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Choosing healthy food options

Making healthier choices can improve our quality of life and may also increase our longevity. Perhaps you’ve tried to quit smoking, exercise more, or eat a healthier diet and discovered that making the change to a healthier lifestyle can be difficult. Research shows ways that are proven to increase your chances of success.

The first step in achieving success in making healthier choices is creating an awareness of your behavior and habits. Regular things that you may do, such as, staying up past midnight on weekdays or drinking coffee in the morning can become habits. They happen without much thought. Becoming aware of these behaviors and what triggers them can help you develop ways to disrupt unhealthy behaviors and trigger new ones.

It is essential to make a plan that is centered around small, sensible goals, and clearly identified actions that you will take to achieve these goals. For example, if you normally go to bed after eating dinner, try going to another room and working on a small home improvement project or craft in the evening. Put some thought into what you think you will need to be successful. Perhaps, it may require you to research “Do It Yourself” hobbies or prepare another area of your home to enjoy reading or another activity.

It’s a great idea to get friends and family involved. They can offer support. You can also ask them to join you.

Some obstacles may occur, so plan ahead to meet these challenges. Think about what situations might occur to disrupt your success and strategize to make healthy choices during stressful times.

Finally, track your success. You can use a paper journal, a mobile app to make notes or a computer program. Research shows that people that track their success are more likely to succeed when striving to make healthier choices.