How Are You Changing Your Habits?

September 8, 2011
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How Are You Changing Your Habits?

Cooking Light’s 12 Healthy Habits is about to enter month 9. The September goal is to make seafood the centerpiece of two meals a week. Are you eating fish at least twice a week? The official recommendation is 8 ounces a week. Unfortunately, most Americans fall short of that goal. Be sure to check out the September issue of Cooking Light to get lots of great ideas to help you go fishing more often.

There’s been lots of great discussion on Cooking Light’s Facebook page on how to meet this twice-a-week goal. That’s what will make the book based on the 12 Healthy Habits so special. As you may know, I’m the author of the upcoming book, The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook, and we want to crowdsource solutions from all of you. Are you following the 12 Healthy Habits? Have you been inspired to make changes? Have you had some success? Tell us about your journey and what has helped you to adopt new healthier habits. We want to put your solutions in the book.

Changing your habits is all about making one small change at a time. All of those small tweaks to your day can add up to something big. What have you done that’s made a big difference for you?

Keep this in mind to help your habits stick:

  • Start small. Do not completely overhaul your current routine in one day. It’s easy to get over-motivated and try to tackle too much, which can backfire. Focus on making a series of small steps, each of which is attainable, rather than attempting to change all at once.
  • Write it down. Writing helps to solidify your commitment and focuses you on your end result. Write down what you want to achieve this month. Leave reminders on your calendar or day planner. Scribble daily goals and motivating messages on sticky notes.
  • Be specific. Studies show that goals are easier to reach if they’re action-oriented. That means being specific, such as “I’ll get up 30 minutes earlier so I can walk in the morning before work,” instead of “I’ll get more exercise.”
  • Be positive. The belief that you can make a change is a powerful force. Behavioral scientists call this self-efficacy. You’re much more likely to reach a goal if you have confidence in yourself. Have faith in your ability to change.
  • Keep track. Self-monitoring is a powerful tool to help instill new habits and achieve success. That could be writing down what you eat in a food diary, using a mobile app to calculate calories, checking off vegetable servings, logging your daily activity or tracking the steps you take with a pedometer.
  • Find a buddy. Making changes are easier and more enjoyable when you have someone who will join you and keep you motivated. Seek out a friend, co-worker, or family member who will adopt these healthy habits with you.

Hope you’ll share your ideas and success stories with us — either on Facebook or on The Twelve, Cooking Light’s blog about the 12 Healthy Habits ( or to me directly).  After all, it’s about habits, not diets. Do you agree?

via Nutrition Unplugged

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