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10 Habits of Effective Changemakers

How does one make lasting, effective change? 

With a new year approaching, many people will attempt fitness and weight loss related changes, but will fail because of unrealistic expecatations, inadequate support or unfortunate misinformation among other issues.

When we approach a new goal armed with the most effective strategies, the best and even personalized information and the most important supports, we stand a better chance of changing our lifestyles for good.

Learn 10 practices the people behind our LTWL success stories incorporate to forge effective change, no matter what healthy behavior they are trying to master!

1. They assess their readiness.

Changemakers know how ready they are to make a change before they even attempt it. They know there are several different stages of change, and they know to not solely focus on the results they want (such as losing 50 pounds) but to also take the time to understand how ready they really are. 

Take the time and read Ready, Set, Change! to help learn where you are in that process, how confident you are at attempting change, and what to do instead if you are not ready.

2. They take personal responsibility.

Too many people play the blame game approach when it comes to explaining their current health. Instead of blaming the convenience of fast food or your coworkers who bring treats to work, take ownership when it comes to your health.

Don’t think you have to do it alone (because you don’t), but acknowledge that you are the only one who can actively change your behavior. 

3. They take small bites.

Changemakes don’t make the mistake of breaking off more than they can chew! They know no goal is ever too small and that the small changes are what lead to big results. 

If their goal is to get on a regular exercise routine, they won’t hit the floor running and trying to achieve getting to the gym every day. Instead, they might make a goal of going to the gym 3 days a week and practice that until they are comfortable upping the frequency.

4. They celebrate small successes. 

With the small bite approach comes the importance of celebrating those little successes! Changemakers know that positive reinforcement helps keep them on track and serves as a reminder of the journey they are on to making change. 

Create a reward system for yourself. It could be as simple as writing down your milestones in a journal or buying new workout clothes or shoes. 

5. They assess their environment and change it if they have to.

Changemakers don’t underestimate the importance of environment. They know it can hold stimuli that can take them off path in a quick second.

Take the time to assess your environment and address anything that will get in your way of finding success.  Create new responsive habits, such as laying out your workout clothes every night. This way when you wake up there is no excuse not to workout.  

6. They focus on good behaviors to master, not what bad behaviors to stop.

Start the journey off right by keeping a positive mindset. Instead of telling yourself you really need to stop eating fast food for lunch, focus more on planning and packing lunches instead. The mindset shift is subtle, but the payoff is huge.

7. They don’t solely rely on motivation.

As the saying goes, “Motivation is what gets you started, but habits are what keep you going.”  Changemakers know that forming habits are the key to long term success and that making change takes work and time. 

8. They know their triggers and take them seriously. 

Take the time to identify what triggers could get in the way of your success. This might be a certain food (or even a certain person) that leads you down a destructive path. Changemakers avoid triggers until they build the confidence to diffuse that pressure. 

9. They find the right support.

Support is absolutely invaluable. Tell the people who you trust and who can help provide the best support.  

10. They learn “how.”

Most people know what they need to do but often block themselves from success because they never take the time to learn how to go about the process.

For example, you might want to eat healthier and know that you should be eating more vegetables, but if you don’t know doable strategies to help you incorporate more vegetables into your diet, your success will be limited. Talk with a dietitian or coach who can help you come up with a plan that keeps your tastes in mind.

What change are you looking to make? Seek out the support and guidance you deserve from one of our professional staff members. Thanks for reading.

In health, Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss


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