How can we make a permanent change and build new healthy habits? Dr. Jade believes the answer is “implementation intention,” and it is the single most important consideration for successful habit change.

Research has found that intentional planning was a key factor in successful habit change of all types (think of everything from dietary changes to spending habits). And the effects are not small. In fact, research in this area showed that this simple activity increased the chance of successful change by 50 to 80 percent!

The reason could be this. Most people don’t have clear goals. I’m guilty of this myself. Fuzzy, broad or non-specific goals leave us feeling confused about what to do! That leaves a lot of wiggle room for choices that don’t move us closer to our goals.

Implementation intention involves the act of making a specific action plan – a roadmap if you will. To make yours, start with three simple questions:

✏️ What are you going to do?
✏️ When are you going to do it?
✏️ How will you go about it?

In my experience, tracking progress is extremely motivational for sustainable habit change. I suggest finding and tracking personally meaningful metrics that allow you to measure progress consistently (daily or weekly). If your goals are body change based (i.e. fat loss, muscle gain, etc), think about non-scale metrics too. SHMEC comes to mind – sleep, hunger, mood, energy and cravings.

✏️ How will you track and measure progress? Asked another way. Are you moving closer to your goals, or further away? How will you know that?

By answering these questions, you immediately start to plan and troubleshoot your approach before you even start. Give it a shot. It works big time!

This post was adapted from an earlier piece written by Metabolic Optimization Coach, Stacey Frattinger.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash