How to achieve your healthy eating goals in 2014

Cliché as it sounds, the new year is an excellent time to renew your sense of motivation.

Psychology Today says “motivation is literally the desire to do things. It’s the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day”. No matter what you’re facing, it is important to stay motivated and continue working toward your end goal – from running a 5K race, to eating healthier, to going back to school, to beating sarcoma cancer.

Each Warrior experiences challenges. No matter how insurmountable they may seem, any amount of positive thinking and motivation to recovery will help. Lifestyle, including nutrition, can impact recovery, so it’s important to learn how to become and stay motivated. But how?

“You don’t need motivation; you just need a motivator.”

The first step is to identify your motivator. Motivators may be family, friends, a lab value, your weight, the probability of recovery, anything.

Choose to be achievement-motivated instead of failure-avoiding. Consider dietary changes outlined in this post as opportunities instead of difficulties that you won’t maintain. 

Make a Plan – and a Plan B. Use tools like MyPlate’s Daily Food Plans or MyPlate’s online My Plan. Once you have a plan in writing, it’s much easier to stick with!

Using your Plan, list main goal, subgoals, and obstacles. Design if-then plans to reduce obstacles and increase ability to achieve your goals. Here’s a great worksheet to adapt to your own healthy eating Plan.

Link any unpleasant part of the Plan to a positive outcome. These include motivators you identified, improved health, feeling good about yourself, or anything you consider positive.

Keep track of your progress (and setbacks). Use online tools like MyPlate’s Super Tracker to record nutrition and physical activity. Review progress each month to see if you’re meeting goals.

Remember, research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control, so it’s important we take some amount of responsibility.

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