As we enter the third week of the new year, many of us will be considering how we can maintain the heart-healthy habits we started at the beginning of 2022. Staying motivated can be particularly challenging, especially during the winter months, however research indicates that if we are able to maintain a habit for around 66 days, it can turn from a short-term to a long-term habit.
To help you reach your goals over the coming months, here are some tips for increasing success:
Set a Goal
One of the most important things we can do for our motivation is set a goal. It helps us to focus on the future and gives us something to aim for. Remember to make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).
Challenge Your Thinking
Next time you find yourself shying away from a positive habit such as exercising or cooking a healthy meal, consider if the thoughts you are having about the task are logical or helpful. For example, instead of saying “I don’t have time to cook”, you may say to yourself “I don’t have as much time as I would like, but I can still make something quick and healthy”.
Setting reminders or cues for ourselves can increase our chances of success. Try taking out your sports kit the night before a run or setting an alarm to move once per hour.
Track your Progress
Tracking progress can be a great way to see the improvements we make, which can increase our motivation to continue. You can use apps such as MyFitnessPal, or even a simple spreadsheet to track weight loss, running times or the number of vegetables you eat per day!
Forming a habit with a friend or family member can be a great way to increase accountability and share success!