IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Simple ways to make healthy changes actually stick

Ask yourself: What’s the obstacle or challenge that’s getting in the way of my goal?

When you’re trying to make meaningful changes, sometimes even your best plans hit a hiccup. That ambitious early morning workout bumps up against the reality that you didn’t go to bed early. The Sunday prep-for-the-week meal plan gets upended by unexpected family conflicts — and you fall off track indefinitely. Or you find yourself stuck in a rut trying to force yourself to stick to plans that simply are not working.

As a life coach, I like to offer a fun idea that can help you get unstuck when your plans hit a snag. I call it a “temperament to experiment” — a playful approach to reaching a goal by trying out different strategies until you find what works. The key is to be curious. Stop and notice what’s not working, then experiment with some new options and see what happens.

For example, this week TODAY viewer Chamise will experiment with letting her husband pick up both kids after school rather than just one of them. This will give her two extra hours in the afternoons, which should mean no late-night work hours and an earlier bedtime. More sleep can mean more energy and productivity, and an easier time with weight loss.

TODAY viewer Teri, who has been skipping important workouts, will experiment with a new early morning workout routine to see if suits her better. Since she’s not been working out much, something is better than nothing, and this new habit will allow her to build towards a bigger goal.

If you commit to a flawed plan no matter what, you can end up giving up in frustration before you reach your goal. Try your own experiment this week by coaching yourself with a few simple questions.

Ask yourself:

  1. What’s the obstacle or challenge that’s getting in the way of my goal?
  2. What option or idea could I try that might solve this challenge?
  3. How long do I want to try this experiment?

Set a reminder at the end of the time frame to reflect and evaluate it.

Reflect and consider:

  1. Did it create the result I wanted? How so?
  2. What worked well?
  3. What didn’t work well?
  4. How can I change or tweak what didn’t work well?
  5. Do I want to turn this experiment into a permanent change?

Ask yourself these questions this week and see if you can experiment with a few changes to help you better accomplish your goals. Good luck!