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Solidifying a new routine takes time. And, you’ll need to stick to that routine to reach your goals. Ultimately, whether or not we stick to something new is based on our discipline and commitment, but there are steps we can take to ensure we are set up for success.

We asked two registered dietitians and a life coach, who also weighed in our article, 5 Healthy Morning Routine Tips, for some guidance.

Set attainable goals.

“Before you get started, make sure your routine is attainable,” suggests Lindsay Luttrell, a Professional Certified Life Coach. “Can you realistically accomplish it in the time you have available? Someone who has two hours to spare can carry out a lot more than someone who only has 30 minutes. If you plan too much, there’s a greater chance you’ll get frustrated and quit.”

Robbie Nowinski, Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician® and owner of Nashville’s E+Rose Wellness Company, seconds that notion. He adds that it helps to consider the bigger picture. “There’s a common saying that we overestimate what we can accomplish in a day but underestimate what we can accomplish in a longer time horizon like a year or five years. I think it helps to start from the end. What do you want to achieve by the end of the year or in five years? Think about that and work your way back. For example, if you are looking to lose 10 or 20 pounds by next December, that can seem like a very daunting task. But if you break it down to what that looks like each week, it can become more attainable and easier to stay on track.”

Find an accountability partner.

Finding an accountability partner can be incredibly helpful in solidifying healthier habits until they become second nature. But, be sure to keep in mind that our goals should be unique to ourselves — what works for your best friend, may not work for you.

“Each individual is unique,” says Kristi Edwards, co-owner and registered dietitian at 901 Nutrition in Memphis. “What works for one person may not work for the next. Based on schedules, likes and dislikes, and overall health goals, it is important to think about what’s realistic and sustainable. Healthy habits are more likely to stick when they’re unique to you versus feeling pressure to implement something that has worked for a family friend.”

If you’re stuck on how to make your healthier habits a priority, you could also consider enlisting the help of a professional to jumpstart your accountability. “Don’t feel like you need to go at it alone,” says Kristi. “Seek out a registered dietitian, a sleep specialist, a therapist, or other professionals where needed. They’re there to help guide you toward your health goals.”

Consistency is key.

Once you have your goals in place, the key is maintaining consistency. “Consistency ultimately creates habits,” says Lindsay. “We tend to fall back into things we’re comfortable doing. Being consistent will eventually create a new sense of normalcy and comfort. Let’s say there’s a morning that you don’t get to everything in your routine, or you miss it completely – start again the following morning. No matter what, keep doing it.”

Show grace — with yourself.

And finally, Kristie cautions against being too hard on yourself. “Be prepared to fail sometimes … because you will. You will not be perfect at keeping up with your routine. Remember that perfectionism is the killer of goals. So many people give up the minute they don’t do it perfectly. Life happens! And when it does, it often gets in the way of something we have planned. It’s okay if it doesn’t always go the way you hoped. Show yourself grace, because you’re a human being, and get back on track at your next opportunity.”

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Looking for more tips on achieving your goals? Check out this article: 3 Effective Ways to Stop Procrastinating.

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