Inspiration – Matt

Making major lifestyle changes all at once rarely sticks long-term. More often than not, people end up feeling overwhelmed, give up too quickly, and revert back to their old ways. The key is to make small, gradual changes that add up over time. Here are some tips to help make lifestyle changes gradually and make them stick:

  1. Start with the easiest change first. Don’t try to overhaul everything at once. Pick one small change to start with so you don’t feel too restricted too fast. For example, if you want to improve your diet, start by cutting out sugary drinks or reducing portion sizes. Once that feels sustainable, move to the next change.
  2. Set a realistic timeline. Don’t expect an overnight transformation. Give yourself weeks or months to adjust to a change gradually. If you try to transform too fast, it likely won’t stick. Remind yourself that slow progress is better than no progress.
  3. Replace old habits rather than eliminating them. For instance, if you want to reduce TV time, first set limits, and then plan new activities to replace the TV time. If you just eliminate behaviors without substituting new ones, you’re more likely to go back.
  4. Make one small tweak weekly or monthly. Space out changes over time to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. For example, in the first week, aim to go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night. In the second week, replace sugary drinks with water. Build momentum.
  5. Use the “no-more-than” rule. If completely eliminating something seems daunting, start by allowing yourself no more than a certain amount per day. You can gradually taper down from there.
  6. Enlist a buddy. Lifestyle changes are easier and more fun with someone else. Find someone who wants to make a similar change and check-in with each other. You can motivate each other.
  7. Use tracking apps. Apps can help motivate gradual changes through progress tracking, reminders, prompts and accountability. Whether it’s food, exercise, meditation or sleep, find an app to track it.
  8. Focus on adding rather than subtracting. Frame new habits as additions rather than deprivations – add more vegetables, add daily walks, add more time connecting with loved ones. It feels less limiting.
  9. Be specific. Don’t just aim to generally “exercise more” or “reduce stress”. Define exactly what you will change and by how much. Quantify it to stay on track.
  10. Celebrate small wins. Recognize each small milestone along the way. Reward your progress to stay motivated. Gradually, the changes become habit.

By taking it step-by-step and easing into changes slowly, you can transform your lifestyle for the long haul. Consistency and gradual progress are key. Focus on the small wins, stay patient, and don’t give up. The healthy habits you build will stick over time.