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September 19, 2012

Tips for Older Adults to Adopt New Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes, even when you know they’'re necessary, is an uphill battle. As we noted in our previous post, it can be pretty tough to change a bad habit we’'ve spent a lifetime perfecting! But don’'t lose heart. Experts say you can succeed if you start with realistic expectations, take set-backs in stride, and persevere. 

To give yourself the best chance of success, follow these tips from psychologists, nutritionists, and lifestyle coaches when trying to change a lifestyle habit: 

  • Set small goals. It’s easier to stay on track when you keep your goal firmly in sight. Whittle big goals down to size. If you want to lose 60 pounds, set a goal of losing 10 pounds or even 5 pounds. The pleasure you feel when you succeed in achieving that first goal will fuel your desire to reach your next 10-pound goal.
  • Don’'t try to change it all. If you try to change everything at once, you’'ll feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of what you’'re trying to do. Choose one specific thing to change at a time. When you feel comfortable with that change, pick one new specific thing to change. You’'ll find the mountain is easier to conquer if you chip away at it bit by bit.
  • Stop dealing in absolutes. Deciding you can never have something makes you want it all the more. Instead of denying yourself something, tell yourself, “I will not have it now.” It’s much easier to decide you will not order a slice of pie at lunch today than it is to tell yourself you can never eat pie again. 

Check back next time for more tips on successfully changing your habits— which can lead to a happier, healthier life. And for even more advice on aging successfully, download this free guide with 11 top tips for remaining independent at home


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