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Isolation has been a very testing time and for many, the increased stress and uncertainty has meant the healthy routines and habits we had pre isolation have fallen by the wayside. Now that some of the restrictions are slowly being lifted, a goal for many is getting back on track and back into a healthy routine.

If this sounds like you but you are unsure how to start, here are 5 easy steps to put in place today:

Be clear on what you want to change
If we aren’t clear on our goals or what changes we would like it makes, its unlikely we will follow through. For example, if your goal is to ‘eat better,’ this is nonspecific and doesn’t give much focus. Instead, drill down on exactly what you want and how you will achieve it. For example ‘eat better by including at least 3 different types of vegetables at every meal daily.’ This not only covers what you want to achieve but how you will achieve it.

Find inspiration
Getting back on track is not just about the actions we take but also our mindset. I am personally most motivated when I am inspired. Finding inspiration can be as easy as buying a new cookbook, searching the web for recipes, following inspiring social media accounts or buying new ingredients. Think about what gets you inspired and do more of it!

Go for the low hanging fruit
If you struggle to change and find you usually revert back to old habits, taking a slow and steady approach may pay off. For example, opt for changes, which are very easy to make, such as eating breakfast daily if you often skip breakfast only to binge eat late into the day. Once this has been achieved and breakfast now forms part of your daily routine, move to the next change and so on. During this process, you will have built a solid foundation, which will make tackling tricker behaviours much easier to change as opposed to if you went after them at the outset!

Enlist the support of others
Support is crucial when trying to make changes especially eating better or starting an exercise routine. Having a support person not only helps keep you motivated but also accountable and therefore more likely to stay on track. If you don’t have any support people close by, join a likeminded Facebook community or see a healthcare practitioner.

Focus on sustainability
If you have made a change or new addition to your routine, which you do not enjoy and it feels like a major effort, it’s unlikely to be sustained for very long! When you adopt a new eating regime or similar, ask yourself ‘can I see myself eating in this way for the next few years?’ if the answer is no, it may not be the right approach to take. When we take a lifestyle approach to eating, it becomes effortless and we aren’t controlled by food, instead it fits into our life!