1. Gather some data. I like something simple, like a step counter or journal. For 3-7 days, simply jot down what is realistically happening NOW, before you make changes. Take some “before” photos and measurements, because you will forget where you started.

2. Brainstorm about things can reasonably fit into your available time, can afford, want to try or repeat, and legitimately enjoy. If you can’t afford it, don’t want to be doing it, or lack the time, it’s less likely that you will make sustainable progress.

3. Plan a routine, based on where you are NOW. Jumping into 5 or 7 days a week when you are currently at 0 isn’t very realistic for more than a week or two.

4. Build in “temptation bundling:” which research shows will help you for 7-8 weeks. Basically: you override the childish part of your brain that wants to indulge in television and junk food (immediate pleasure but long term negative consequences) AND you also trick the grumpy part of your brain that doesn’t wants to do things you have to do even though there are benefits to doing them (no immediate pleasure but long term positive consequences) by bundling up something you want to do with something you don’t. Aka: watch tv ONLY while working out, or listen to your favourite podcast ONLY while doing yoga. Consider what one or two “temptation bundles” could entail for you and get prepared to execute.

5. Make notes about what works and what doesn’t. Diarizing and journaling will help when you fall off the wagon. So take note of things that are working and things that aren’t so that you can make changes that will stick. And keep doing those measurements and photos every 2-4 weeks if you are gaining momentum: seeing your changes will be helpful along with your notes!

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