Lifestyle changes beyond the first two weeks

Tip: Staying motivated once the novelty of making changes wears off can be challenging – reinforce your successes, revise your plan to fit your changing needs and fill the gaps left by discarding old habits to keep moving forward toward a lifetime of feeling your best. 

By the Chef Marshall O’Brien Group

After a couple weeks following your Personal Wellness Plan, you are falling into a rhythm and you have had some success. But when the novelty of making lifestyle change wears off, it is easy to slip back into apathy and old habits. This week, we discuss ways to stay motivated and what to do when you feel yourself slipping. Look over your completed 2-Week Personal Plan Towards Wellness before addressing the items below. Keep moving forward so your first two weeks become a permanent new reality of healthier living and feeling your best!

Reinforce Your Successes

First and foremost, recognize the goals you have met over the past couple weeks and examine what enabled you to succeed. Making permanent changes is challenging, and you should feel proud when you successfully take a step to improve your life. The longer these changes are part of your routine, the easier and more natural they are to maintain. Reinforce your successes by rewarding yourself. Steer clear of food rewards; choose something that supports your wellness and motivates you to keep working towards change:

  • Buy a new workout outfit
  • Pamper yourself with a massage or other body treatment
  • Carve out some time for a favorite hobby

Revise Your Plan

When looking at the goals you missed, first have patience with yourself. Lifestyle change doesn’t happen in one week or even one month – it is a series of steps and missteps that leads to the rest of your life. Determine what kept you from meeting your goals and strategize on how to succeed next week. If you set a goal too high, break it down further into baby steps. Your personal plan is a work in progress. When a goal seems out of reach or out of sync with the varying demands of your life, alter it to make it a better fit and you will be more likely to succeed.

Fill the Gaps

After the initial glow of newness wears thin, you may feel yourself resisting the idea that these changes are the new normal and may long for old habits. It is normal to mourn the loss of old behaviors that were ingrained in your lifestyle for years – fill those gaps with new pleasures that both bring you joy and help you feel your best. If you were used to having a coffee and cookie after lunch every workday, use that time to go for a walk, chat with coworkers or have a cup of tea instead. When you substitute nourishing new habits for old habits, you are less likely to feel you are missing out on something.

When you Fall, Get Back Up

We all have missteps on the road to lifestyle change. A missed goal or regression is never failure – you only fail when you abandon your plan and step off the path toward change. When you slip up, just wake up the next morning and try again. Each new day is a fresh start on the journey to wellness. Renew your efforts and move forward.

Continuing Forward

Lifestyle change is not accomplished in two weeks, or even a month – it is a step-by-step process that carries you through the rest of your life. After two weeks of reflecting on personal goals and creating a plan for yourself, you are off to a great start. Continue to document your goals and how you meet them. Look back on past journal entries – when you are in the midst of change, it can be hard to see how far you have come. You may be surprised and encouraged by how much progress you have made. Carry on each week, reviewing how the previous week went, building on past successes and setting additional baby step goals for the future. With a personalized plan, you will succeed in living a lifestyle that leads you to your best self.

You will love the way you feel!

Chef Marshall O’BrienThe Chef Marshall O’Brien Group is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.