Consistency helps to set the tone of your goals and how you’ll strive to achieve them. It establishes and reaffirms your commitment to yourself, helps to maintain the motivation behind your intended goal, and acts as a tool for measurement.
Specifically, let’s say that you’ve chosen to focus on a diet or eating regimen, and you’re now seeking ways to stay on track. Here are a few tips that can help support you and your goals.
Tip #1: Set realistic expectations
This is likely the most important tip to keep in mind. By setting realistic goals that will help to increase healthy lifestyle habits, you’re more likely to make those practices stick and become habitual. Let’s say that meal planning is part of the goal for this specific diet. Do you realistically have time to do the meal planning one or two times a week? If not, then how can you set up this goal to be best achieved so you can stay on a consistent path?
Tip #2: Form small habits
I love the phrase “baby steps” or “one step at a time” because it’s truly how we should approach anything we work or strive toward. Doing so helps to create consistency, progress, and lasting change. If you’re someone who has a huge sweet tooth (like many of us do), your goal perhaps is to limit your intake of sugar. Rather than completely removing sugar (especially if it’s something you have daily), start with one full day off, then gradually make it two days, then three days, and so on. Making these small baby steps will help to solidify your intention of limiting your sugar consumption and not invite a state of intense cravings or lingering temptations.
Tip #3: Make breakfast the star meal
Your first meal of the day sets the pace for how you’ll choose to nourish yourself the rest of the day. By making breakfast the priority meal, you’re mindfully making the choice to start your day off on a good note, and this conscious choice will be a catalyst in the choices you’ll make for lunch, snacks, and dinner. Breakfast should always include a source of protein, healthy fats, energizing carbohydrates, and fiber to keep you feeling satiated and energized.
Tip #4: Stick to your grocery list
We’ve all likely heard the phrase “don’t go grocery shopping hungry.” The reason is that you’ll buy more than you need and end up with more food than you can naturally consume. A way to avoid doing this is to write a grocery list before going to the store and sticking to it when you’re shopping. If you’re following a specific diet or eating regimen, write out what you need—keeping in mind all the types of foods you’ll prepare—and buy just what you need to bring your meals to life. Also, try to shop only along the perimeter of the grocery store. The center of the store is where most of the processed and boxed foods are located. To avoid buying too many things in the center of the store, look at your list.
Tip #5: Don’t be too restrictive
One of the things that I hear most from clients who have specific diet focuses is that they either became burnt out or bored with the foods they were eating or their energy didn’t feel optimal throughout the duration. When we are too restrictive with what foods we choose to eat, it not only can create a poor relationship with food in the long term, it can also cause nutrient deficiencies. This is why it’s so important to eat a variety of wholesome foods, add color to your plate with vibrant fruits and vegetables, and know your plate.