Don’t just rely on willpower, advises fitness specialist and health coach Chris Gagliardi, who mentors trainers for the American Council on Exercise. If your goal is to eat less sugar, for example, you don’t want to surround yourself with food traps—sodas and other sweet treats around the house and in your fridge.
“As the day goes by, it will be harder and harder for me to say no and eventually I may cave, especially if my workday has been stressful,” he says. Food traps are easier to avoid if they’re kept well out of sight.
To change habits in a realistic, sustainable way, Gagliardi recommends:
❶ Set a goal that’s meaningful to you; this is your “why.”
❷ To achieve a large goal, such as getting fit, break it down into steps that are manageable, but a little bit challenging. If walking for 30 minutes every day seems unrealistic and 1 minute seems too easy, perhaps aim to walk for 5 or 10 minutes daily.