- Be realistic. Set objectives you can achieve. Don’t have expectations that are too high. If you aim to train at least three times a week, you will probably be disappointed if you don’t manage this.
- Clarify what you want to achieve. Formulating a clear objective also helps achieve it. During each step it’s best to ask yourself: “Does this help to achieve my goal?” Plus, choose a SMART objective, i.e. specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related. This can be: “I want to run 5 kilometres in under 30 minutes in three months’ time”. Think a step ahead: what this will mean to you if you manage this? What will it do to you?
- Choose a plan with concrete actions. How will you achieve your goal? Are the actions concrete, realistic and achievable? Can you fit this into your life? Plan all this in your diary well in advance and stick to it.
- Come up with a ‘coping plan’. Which obstacles do you envision when carrying out your plan? What will you do on a less good day? Think about this in advance and try to come up with an approach if you make a mistake once. This help you better accept setbacks and pick yourself up again.
- Motivate yourself. Regularly ask yourself whether you are still on the right track. Evaluate and adjust yourself. Ask support from your environment, your partner, friends or colleagues.
- Failing is OK. Changing your behaviour isn’t easy and doesn’t happen in one go. It requires a critical, but also a mild view. It’s OK if things go wrong occasionally. The question is: how do you deal with this? What do you change to get back on track? Make sure you develop a ‘toolbox’ to get you back into action. After all, every day is a new day.
- Stay positive. A positive attitude helps you keep it up. Don’t focus on everything you’re going to miss, but think of the road ahead: all the things you are going to change and how great this is. What does a life with more vitality and health mean to you?
Behavioural change can take nine to 12 weeks. Once you’ve passed this period, changes become habits and you won’t even give it a second thought. Up to the three month mark we go!