How to Make Changes That Stick

Stopping the cycle of “on-again, off-again” diet and exercise.

Jamie Staley, NASM-CPT, Pn1

Photo by Jonathan Borba on

Does this sound familiar?

You feel like something needs to change with your diet and lack of activity. There’s no structure and you just feel like you could be doing better.

So you make a plan. Starting Monday, you’re going to exercise and eat right. No more junk.

Then by Thursday, you’ve snacked a little too much, dinner got away from you, and you stress-ate ice cream. The next day is Friday, which is practically the weekend, and you go out for dinner. The rest of the weekend goes on as usual and by time Sunday rolls around, you are making a fresh vow to start all over again.

Is this you?

You aren’t alone!

So many people desperately want to make some changes to impact their health. Usually to lose weight, get stronger, be more flexible, stop eating so much junk food, etc. but they never seem to last.


Here are some of my best strategies to stop your “on-again, off-again” diets and fitness routines:

  • Start small. Do not change everything about your diet and exercise in a matter of a day. If you don’t workout at all right now, your first goal should be one or two days per week for about 30 minutes. Do not make your first goal 6 days per week for an hour each time. Same with nutrition. Change one meal at a time.
  • Realize you will not be perfect. So many people give up after one mistake because they think they have ruined it. Ruined what? Don’t use one mistake as a reason to quit. Perfectionism is not the goal.
  • Stop doing things with a pre-determined end date. These come in many forms, but usually the titles are dead giveaways. “Whole30”, “21-day fix”, “abs in 7 days”, etc. Barf. That’s a great way to make sure no healthy habit will last longer than the program intends.
  • Recognize that life has seasons. Are you grieving? Moving? Recovering from surgery? Going through a divorce? Be realistic with what you can do right now in this hard season, but don’t use life as an excuse not to try or not to start. If you are waiting for the perfect time, that does not exist so you might as well get moving, sister. You won’t always be able to do everything, but you can always do something.
  • Do not start anything that you can’t sustain long-term. This mostly happens with nutrition changes, but can happen with fitness too. Do you plan on being Keto for the rest of your life? No. So what happens when you stop? Why do it for 3 weeks or 30 days? Usually, you end up gaining back everything (and more) than what you lose on restrictive diets.
  • Stop using everything as an excuse to quit. Change of any kind is not easy and we need to stop expecting it to be. Even with taking small steps and scaling your goals accordingly, they will still be hard from time to time. This is ok. Some effort will be required, so don’t be surprised when you have to give it.
  • Find enjoyment in your diet and exercise. Incorporate your favorite foods in a way that will still let you reach your goals. Have an exercise routine that allows for smart programming, but also enjoyment. Adherence and enjoyment are strongly linked!
How Can I Help?

If tackling your nutrition or fitness on your own feels too intimidating and confusing, I can help! I am a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Nutrition Coach and I work with clients who have a wide array of goals.

I will coach you through individualized action steps to meet your goals and help you formulate a plan for change that fits your life, instead of trying to make your life fit a plan. I’ll give you the accountability, real information, and guidance to make lasting change.

Send me an email at and let’s chat about your goals!

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