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Why do we put off making healthy changes—and how can we make better habits?

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Let’s be honest: Even if you want to make changes in your life, it is not easy. We hear that. It requires stepping into the unknown, which can be uncomfortable. In a recent survey that Found conducted, 29 percent of members said they put off their better-health goals for up to two years, and 61 percent pushed them off for three to six years. That’s a long time to go without prioritizing your health.  

Not judging. Just saying. We know that there are many reasons why behavior changes can be hard. You might need to learn more about better nutrition, or you may want to work on your cooking skills or exercise habits. But, according to research, choosing not to make the changes you need to reach your goals can happen even if you know what you need to do. The good news is there are strategies for making your healthful goals a reality. Here are three ways to overcome the reasons you might be putting off change and how to push past them to start living the life you want.

1. Start small

Changing your lifestyle and habits is not always fun–but it can be! Hear us out: When you’re in a routine that you’re used to, you’re in your comfort zone, even when that comfort zone may not benefit your health. A study published in 2020 the Journal of Experimental Psycology: General showed that when you perceive a behavior change as unpleasant, you are more likely to avoid getting started. (Not that we necessarily needed research to prove something that most of us feel.) 

So is it a big leap to commit to making changes? Yes. But it’s a leap worth taking. And you’re more likely to stick to your goals if you make small ones. For example, rather than saying you’ll work out five days a week, try two. And make sure you pick movement you enjoy—and want to keep doing. For some of us, a morning walk with a good friend feels more sustainable than waking up for that 5 a.m. HIIT class. Similarly, if you want to eat healthier, focus on adding a few more servings of veggies each week. Perfection isn’t the aim here—process is.

2. Keep your long-term goals in mind 

POV: It’s easier to order takeout every night than to plan and cook a well-rounded meal at home. Unhealthy habits develop when you choose in-the-moment, convenient temptations instead of your long-term goals. So how do you return to those objectives when you go off course? Start by remembering your “why.” Meaning: Why did you want to make the habit changes, to begin with? Then go forward. 

3. Lean on your friends and family

Sometimes, it takes more than just your willingness to make positive changes. Partner with a loved one on making healthy changes, or reach out to your Found community for extra support and accountability. There's substantial research showing that when you have social support on your weight care journey, it can boost your results. 

It’s never too late to start making changes. So, how do you begin something you’ve put off for so long? By beginning! Take those baby steps. The sooner you take that first one, the closer you’ll be to your goals. You’ve got this.

About Found

Found is the largest medically-supported weight care clinic in the country, serving nearly 180,000 members to-date. Members receiving medication plus behavior change support from Found lost at least 13% more weight, and in some cases up to 229% more, compared to people receiving the same medication in clinical studies. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz

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