1. Find a regimen that works for you. Maybe last time you quit it was because you hated running, or the weight room at your gym was too intimidating. There are so many different forms of exercise, like swimming, hiking, Pilates, or playing a sport. Find something that makes you excited, and if you’re having a great time, you might not even realize all of the good you’re doing for yourself.
2.Take a photo of yourself. Post it as the background of your phone, or on the bulletin board in your bedroom, or delete it immediately after. Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or simply feel better, snapping that initial photo takes a certain self-love you need to stay positive and reach your goals.
3. Fall in love with at least one kickass healthy recipe. When you’re in a funk, it’s always something you can fall back on.
4. Have a plan. On Tuesday night you should already know what your Wednesday workout will be. It’s a lot easier to follow a schedule at 6AM rather than come up with something off the top of your head.
5. Check out a studio. Groupon, people! Barre; yoga; kickboxing; cycling. A lot of these classes make you sign up ahead of time, so you’ve made a commitment to showing up!
6. Get a buddy. Or two. Or ten. Seriously. Find people who want to get healthy too. Self-conscience about working out with others? Fair enough; check in with each other via text. When everyone in your group chat says they’ve sweated it out today, you’ll be all the more motivated to do something too.
7. Change your perspective on food. Eating a salad is not a punishment and ordering a double cheeseburger is not a reward for the day you’ve had. View food selections as nutrition and fuel for your body that take careful consideration, rather than just checking off another meal for the day.
8. Take control of your pantry. Maybe you have a weakness for snacking on Goldfish crackers at 10PM (raises hand). Skip that aisle next time you grocery shop so it won’t even be an option when you feel a craving coming on.
9. Remember that this is a process. No one can be perfect all of the time. There will be slip-ups, there will be days off, and there will be moments when you question decisions you’ve made. Take baby steps if it feels overwhelming. Re-evaluate your process and how what you’re doing is making you feel. Think about your goals and a time you’ve been proud of yourself. Get back up when you fall. Hop back on the train.