12-week wellness program

Plot Out Your Long-Term Success Plan

Reviewing what worked for you may help you stay on track.

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Take a long look back at the work you’ve done on your journey toward better health: you’ve learned many strategies that may help you commit to a healthy lifestyle. By identifying your personal strengths and how far you’ve come over the past three months, you may be even more motivated to keep up the good work. Use this guide to help think about what worked best for you. As you’re going through, feel free to jot down a few notes in your journal.

Remember your successes and how they made you feel. Think back to steps you may have taken to commit to a healthier lifestyle, such as planning healthier meals, getting a little more exercise and being better about checking your glucose regularly, identifying and calling on your supporters and more. What step or process was most helpful in helping you to achieve your goals?

Plan (in advance) how you’ll handle unexpected setbacks. Good intentions can sometimes be disrupted by everyday life. You’d planned to go for a long workout, but your sister-in-law drops by for a surprise visit. What do you do now? When you know in advance how you’ll handle an interrupted workout, you won’t be as likely to get ruffled or to forget it entirely. Instead, you’ll have an action plan to follow that will put you right back on track.

The same philosophy applies to healthy eating. If you order a single portion of "Garden Pasta" but the waiter brings you something completely different—pasta drenched in cheesy sauce with just a few scattered bits of vegetables—what will you do? Having a strategy in place may help you manage the challenge at hand—and avoid it the next time around.

Know who you can call on for support. Think about how you handled stress well. Who helps you feel better when you’re overwhelmed? Name four people who will help when you need help, and define each person’s role. Do you call on your best friend when you’re trying to avoid emotional eating? Does your family help you beat a case of the blues? Knowing who to call, and when, can help you feel like you’ve got a team to call on for support in any challenging situation.

Make a plan to keep positive. How do "down" days when you’re feeling upset affect your motivation to practice your healthy habits? Think of a few situations where your healthy routines were disrupted by a negative attitude, and come up with a few ways to respond with a more positive approach next time.

By knowing the situations that challenge your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, you’re already better equipped to deal with them. Looking back at the good habits you may have developed may provide great motivation for long-term change. Repeat this exercise or revisit this page every few months or so, revising your answers if you need to. That way you’ll help keep your goals for healthy living in focus.

By EatingWell.com. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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