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10 Ways to Stick to Your Healthy Eating Intentions

Are you struggling to keep up with your resolution to eat healthier this year?

Perhaps you should try setting an intention instead of a resolution. Resolutions are essentially general goals that don't include a concrete action or plan, making them prone to failure. An intention, on the other hand, is a measurable, achievable task or set of tasks. You set an intention with the knowledge that completing each action will get you closer to your overall goal.

Want to see if changing your resolution to an intention makes a difference? Here are 10 ways to help you stick to your healthy eating intentions.

1. Own Your Intention

Make sure your healthy eating intention is something you really want, and not something you’re just doing to please others. You’re going to be more likely to stick with your intention if you’re doing it for yourself.

2. Specify How You Will Achieve Your Intention

This is what really distinguishes an intention from a resolution. Instead of saying “I want to eat healthier”, specify how you will achieve this goal. For example, you could say “I want to eat healthier by eating more vegetables at lunchtime”.

3. Remind Yourself of Your Intention Each Day

You can write it down and post it somewhere or just say it to yourself each morning. Reminding yourself of your commitment will help keep you focused on achieving your intentions.

4. Set Realistic, Manageable Goals

If your intention is to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, for example, then try doing so gradually. Perhaps one week your goal will be to incorporate veggies into your lunches three times a week. If that goes well, then up it to four times the next week. Sometimes it’s easier to stick with smaller, more manageable goals than one big one.

5. Identify Potential Obstacles

Undoubtedly, some days are going to be more difficult than others. Try making a list of potential roadblocks and think about ways to deal with them effectively.

6. Do Some Meal Planning

By planning out your meals in advance, you’ll be less likely to grab something unhealthy for the sake of convenience. For example, you can premake your veggie-filled lunches for the week so they’re easy to toss in your bag as you’re heading out the door.

7. Keep Track of Your Progress

Consider keeping track of your progress on a calendar. You can check off each day that you complete your intended task. Seeing your progress may increase your focus and motivation.

8. Don’t Let a Setback Stop You

Be kind to yourself. If you do slip, don’t let it stop you from picking yourself up and trying again the next day. Remember, every day is a new opportunity to recommit to your intention.

9. Focus on the Good

What kinds of positive changes have you noticed since committing to your healthy eating intention? Maybe you have more energy or feel better mentally. Focusing on the positive may make it easier to recommit to your intention each day.

10. Reward Yourself

You may be more likely to stick with your healthy eating intentions if you reward yourself along the way. Try a relaxing bubble bath at the end of each successful week, or engage in a favourite hobby. Eventually, you will get the ultimate reward of achieving your goals, but in the meantime it doesn’t hurt to have some extra incentive!

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