I’m not that technically savvy, but when my computer is frozen or just slow as molasses, I know I need to reboot! And miraculously, everything starts working again! I’ve noticed that the same works with diet and lifestyle changes. When you are caught up about with what you did or didn’t do in the past, it can put you in slow motion moving forward.

The hectic holiday season is behind us. Most of us (including me) have gotten off our exercise schedule, eaten or drunken a little too much, or maybe mentally gone to a darker place. And that’s why it’s now time to reboot! I’m not talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Though they do work sometimes, too often they are just something we say to get us in the “change” mode. If that works for you, go for it! My New Year’s Resolutions for the last few years have been to “Have More Fun”—isn’t that a resolution you can get your head around?

7 Tips for a Healthy Reboot:

1. Pretend that the last 3 months of lifestyle habits…

…(that is, the ones you want to forget) is a giant etch-a-sketch. Now give it a big shake so they disappear. I bet you feel lighter already!

2. Visualize where you want to be in 3 or 6 months.

More fit, less, stressed, thinner or maybe just sitting with a plate half-filled with veggies? Keep that picture in your mind moving forward.

3. Write that vision down in a “change” notebook.

This will be your handbook of positive motivation moving forward.

4. Think about where you want to be in 3 or 6 months…

…and what you can do to get yourself there. Here is where you build your strategy with the detail of a high-profile business plan. Want to feel less stressed? What is making you stressed in the first place? What are the tiny steps you can take to lower your stress level? In some cases, the stress is out of your control and can’t be removed, but you can help yourself manage it better, perhaps by adding yoga, breathing exercises, etc. My challenge is getting myself to the gym. I’ve found a simple thing that helps is to keep a bag of extra gym clothes at work, so I NEVER have that excuse!

5. Make a list of small goals.

We make tiny choices every day that can get us closer (or farther) from our vision. Trying to lose weight? In my experience teaching weight loss classes, I’ve found that just keeping a daily food diary is enough to get people to pay more attention to what they are eating, and that usually results in weight loss. Want to eat more fruits? Having them in full sight instead of hidden in the refrigerator can help. Spend some time on these goals to really find out where your barriers are to change and how you can get around them.

6. Let your lapses help move you forward.New Year Reboot

During a hectic week in December, there were days I was glued to my computer chair. As much as I wanted to get to the gym, it just didn’t happen. But instead of wallowing in that fail, I made sure I scheduled some exercise the next day! I also thought about how to avoid those days in the future and I put a sticky note on my computer reminding me to get up and do something every hour.

7. Give yourself a mental “high five” for every little positive change.

In your Change Handbook, keep track of your daily successes. Passed up the candy bowl at work? High five! Started wearing your Fit Bit and got more steps than yesterday? Woo Hoo! Be your own best cheerleader and you will be the change you want to be.

Need more inspiration?

New Year Reboot