The thing is this: Sticking to new habits is hard, and breaking old ones can be even tougher. “In general, we like to talk to people about making baby steps and building on them,” says Hensrud. This goes for all goals (health, career, etc.)—it’s important not to overwhelm yourself from the start.
Nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author JJ Virgin, CNS, BCHN, said it best in her recent mbg article: “Well-being doesn’t happen overnight. When you tackle everything at once, you’re most likely going to get burned out and ditch the entire process.” (Read Virgin’s tips for creating a personalized wellness routine that’s actually sustainable here.)
“One of the mistakes people make is they are too rigid in their approach to changing their diet,” notes Hensrud. “They go ‘on’ a diet, which means they’re gonna go ‘off’ a diet.” When you’re trying to facilitate long-term change, this mindset simply doesn’t work.
Jennifer Welper, wellness executive chef at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program and author of Cook Smart, Eat Well, likes to promote sustainability and consistency to make healthy cooking (and eating) more effective. “Truly, it’s just about creating the environment for you to be successful,” she says.