If anyone tells you long term behavior change is easy, they are lying to you…but that doesn’t mean it is impossible or needs to be a restrictive process. Short term behavior changes can be easy. We catch ourselves in a moment of motivation and improving our eating schedule or portion sizes, start going to the gym, put in those extra hours of training, avoid that drink, or even have one day avoiding eating disorder behaviors. These can last for a day, a week, a month, or even a year, but as soon as motivation declines or environment changes (eg we go on a trip, we move, our relationships change) all of a sudden these behavior changes that felt easy, could feel almost impossible. In order to have successful long term behavior changes, three factors can be considered.
- Relatable motivator- finding a motivator that you feel inspired by in the moment versus just a motivator that has been provided by someone else. If this motivator begins to decrease, reevaluate and develop a new motivator.
- Accountability- having someone that you can rely on to hold you accountable- whether they are a provider like myself, a family member, a friend, a trainer, etc. if you are struggling, reach out to your accountability partner rather than avoiding them until you are back on track.
- Expert support- having a dietitian, like myself, or a therapist can be helpful if not crucial in helping you explore finding new motivators, exploring your barriers, or helping you find solutions to ever changing life scenarios and how to adapt behaviors in each of the small moments to help you attain long term success.
I hope you enjoy the video and find encouragement in knowing that, if you are struggling with behavior change, it is normal, but that, with the right tools, you can successfully achieve the long term lifestyle and behavior change goals that you are hoping to achieve.
-Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN, LD
A Taste of Health, LLC
“The Dancesport Dietitian”