You will never change your health, and your life, until you change the things you do daily. The secret to lasting success is changing your everyday routine.

We all have a vision of the best version of ourselves, tucked away underneath our vices, and the things we know we really should get started on. When we recognize these habits or lack of habits are beginning to affect our physical health, mental health, and relationships, then it may be time to make a change. In my personal and professional life, I find the science of motivation fascinating, and have tried different techniques for me and my client over the years. Here are some tips that have worked.

Be kind to yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Love yourself for who you are and where you are starting from. Know that making changes to better yourself is an act of self-love. The changes will feel more natural if you start with an attitude of self-love. Change is a process, and you will have successes and failures.

Make a list of motivating factors.

This is KEY to maintaining healthy habits (or breaking bad habits). We often need internal and external motivation to make hard changes. Be specific and honest with yourself when you make your list. You can start with something small (“My skin will look better,” or “I would like to reduce my knee pain”) and work up to the bigger factors (“I would like to get off of my meds,” “I would like to run a marathon”). Some days you will be motivated by the big things, and some days you will be motivated by the small. Keep your list somewhere that you will see when you will need motivation.

Set realistic goals.

I will say it again–Don’t compare yourself to others! Know that you have your own unique limitations and strengths, as does everyone else.

Tackle one habit at a time.

Change can be overwhelming. Make it a little easier by tackling one habit at a time, or maybe breaking down a bigger habit into smaller parts.


This is likely the hardest, especially if you have failed in the past. Pinpoint the WHY as to why you haven’t been able to make this change in the past. Move past the obvious (“I really like ice cream”, or “I hate to exercise”) to what the root feeling behind the behaviors are. This is where the help of a mental health provider could be very helpful, and maybe necessary.

There is no time like the present! It may sound so cliché, but instead of saying I will start tomorrow, think about what you need to do to take the first steps today. Each of these tips can be a starting point. Too many times I’ve seen myself or others around me go through life, putting off meaningful change for years and years because there is “always tomorrow.”

“Change is never painful, only resistance to change is painful.” –Buddha

About the Author:

Sara Koehl Physical Therapist Anchor Wellness

Dr. Koehl is a Doctor of Physical Therapy looking to make a difference in the health and well-being of the people in her community. She loves to educate patients to empower them in taking control of their health and reaching their goals including those with acute and chronic orthopedic conditions, pelvic floor dysfunction, and neurological conditions.

She provides patient centered practice with focus on one on one care.