How to embark on a healthier lifestyle: Set goals based on actions rather than outcomes, and track your progress in a diary.
Your doctor just gave you a laundry list of ways to improve your health, but where do you start? Figuring out how to implement and stick with new habits can be tricky. That’s why the American Heart Association is commending new guidelines to help you get and stay on track. Setting concrete goals, such as walking for 30 minutes a day, are more effective over the long-term than simply saying you need to walk more. Focusing on your actions instead of the results is also key. If you tell yourself you need to lose 10 pounds, you’re more likely to quit exercising if the scale doesn’t budge. But if your goal is to log two miles every day, you’ll achieve a greater sense of acomplishment. Keep a journal to write down your progress every day, so you can reflect back on how far you’ve come.