Making health and lifestyle changes is a good way to turn things around, and put yourself on a path that fills you with energy and happiness. You might have started with a new fitness routine, or may be looking to make changes to your eating habits, but when the initial excitement wears off, it can get really difficult to keep yourself on track and find the motivation to keep going.

If you can relate, here’s a bit of help your way. Read on to discover how you can stay motivated when you’re making health changes or adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Create Checkpoints

Creating checkpoints to track the extent of lifestyle changes you are able to implement in your life is an excellent way to keep yourself motivated. Create weekly or monthly checklists that allow you to stick to your health goals better. Give yourself enough time to start seeing measurable results in your goals- don’t be unrealistic. And don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit your goals! Accelerate your progress with rewards that reinforce your healthy behaviors, like a new yoga mat after your first ten classes.

Buddy Up

This one’s a sure winner if you’re looking for a foolproof way to make sure you’re at your best when making lifestyle changes. Have an accountability partner- it can be anyone- a friend, your spouse, a family member or a member of a fitness club that you’re a part of- just anyone that is committed to making lifestyle changes just like you! If all else fails, hire a personal trainer, and put your money where your mouth is–it’s a great way to create some external motivation!

Feel Good About Yourself

This one’s a super important part of making a lifestyle change- you need to do things that make you feel good about yourself. Going to the gym or to a fitness class can be intimidating, so pick up a cute new workout outfit, splurge on a new pair of sneakers, or a stylish new bag for all your gear. I like to put luxe mini-sized toiletries in my bag for my post-sweat shower.

Know Yourself

Introspection is an extremely powerful tool that you can use to keep yourself motivated when following a fitness plan. How? Well, it allows you to get a glimpse into what actually drives most of your lifestyle problem areas. Do you eat more when you’re stressed, or are feeling guilty about something? Are you lazing around because you’re actually burned out? Being honest with yourself helps you connect to the real emotional reasons to make positive–and lasting–change.

One Step at a Time

Remember to take slow yet consistent steps towards your lifestyle change. You don’t need to push yourself too hard and do it all together. Good health choices don’t happen overnight- they need time, so make sure you give yourself that. Stay committed to your lifestyle goals and do a little everyday to get there!

Be Kind to Yourself

Last, but definitely not the least, forgive yourself. Don’t judge yourself or be too harsh if you’re not able to stick to your routine sometimes. Even if you skip your breakfast one day, indulge in a chocolate cake when you’re counting calories, or skip your gym session one day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Everyone is allowed to have a break once in a while- you included!

*This post was originally posted to Yoga With Allaya.