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Making major lifestyle changes and making them stick is hard. Sure, it’s easy to say that you’re going to work out regularly or eat a healthier diet, but it’s even easier to let those plans fall by the wayside and fall back on old habits. It sometimes seems like any genuine change is impossible, but there are ways that you can make major lifestyle decisions and get them to stick.

Becoming Habit

Realistically, the only surefire way to maintain any healthy changes in your life is to make habits out of them. When you go to the gym on the same days at the same time every week, it starts to feel strange when you don’t go. If you cut certain unhealthy foods out of your diet, you’ll eventually stop craving them. These kinds of things take time, and not everyone can make it to that point right away. And yet, that should be your end goal: to turn your healthy lifestyle changes into habits that you do without thinking.

If you’re having trouble maintaining the changes you want to make for yourself, ask yourself why you’re having trouble. Is there some obstacle or challenge that keeps you from sticking to your self-improvement plan? If there is, think about some idea that might help you overcome this challenge. Try implementing this idea into your regular routine for a certain period of time, maybe just for a few weeks. That isn’t very long, so it will be easier for you to stick with your new plan.

Once your “trial period” is up, take a look back and see how it worked. You might feel like it didn’t exactly work like a charm, but there was probably some way it helped you. Think about what worked about this idea and what didn’t. Once you figure that out, ask yourself how you can tweak your idea to make your healthy changes part of your routine. Most importantly, don’t give up. Even if you couldn’t stick to your new routine as well as you should have, chances are that things have gotten easier. Keep working and trying out new strategies. Something will work for you as long as you keep working on yourself.