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Two Motivational Tricks to Help You Hit Your Goals

July 8, 2022
Two Motivational Tricks to Help You Hit Your Goals - Lark Health

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In this article: 

  • Practicing new healthy habits can help you maintain them so you can reach your goals.
  • Self-monitoring can help you establish and maintain specific actions and goals. Examples of self-monitoring include logging meals or physical activity, weighing yourself, and measuring blood pressure or blood sugar.
  • The abstinence violation effect says going back to an old habit can happen easily with just a small slip-up. However, there are ways to get yourself back on track faster.
  • Lark can help you establish and maintain healthy habits to reach your goals. Logging meals and exercise, monitoring weight, blood sugar, and/or blood pressure, and having a plan for getting back on track can all be part of your personalized Lark experience.

Creating new habits can help you be your healthiest self. The more you practice, the more routine it will be to make healthier choices throughout the day. Still, you will run across challenges to your healthy intentions. 

Learning about self-monitoring and the abstinence violation effect can help you practice your healthier choices and stay motivated to keep them up. Here's how you can use them to achieve weight loss and health goals.


Self-monitoring can help with behavior change, according to research in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. It makes you more aware of your choices. It can also hold you accountable and motivate you to maintain the habits you are forming.

Lark can help with self-monitoring when you use the app regularly, such as for the following.

  • Logging what you eat and drink.
  • Logging your physical activity or exercise.
  • Weighing yourself on a connected scale.
  • Taking blood pressure or blood sugar on a connected device, or taking a measurement and then entering the value into Lark.
  • Making sure your sleep data is accurate.
  • Logging feelings.

Abstinence Violation Effect

Researchers described the abstinence violation effect in the context of overcoming addictions, such as to drugs or alcohol. But it can be applicable to other health behaviors, such as eating well or hitting your exercise goals.

The theory is that a violation of abstinence can lead to a full-blown relapse. The initial "violation" may be minor, say, a sip of alcohol if you're recovering from alcohol abuse, or a few chocolate chips while baking if you're trying to limit sweets. Next thing you know, you might be back to drinking a lot or eating several cookies. A way to think of the abstinence violation effect is as a description of a "slippery slope."

A small setback can turn into a bigger relapse if you respond to the setback with negative feelings, such as guilt or shame. That's more likely to happen if you believe that the setback is due to unchangeable factors, such as a lack of willpower.

Still, it's important to realize that you don't have to be perfect to avoid a relapse. Instead, it can make more sense to build some "breaks" into your schedule. That might be a weekly rest day when you don't exercise. Or it could be an occasional meal at a restaurant or with friends when you eat some favorite foods that may not be the healthiest. Make peace with your decision, enjoy your treat, and get back to your healthy habit right on schedule.

Lifestyle changes that can help with weight loss and health can be simple, but they can seem so complicated when they all happen at once! Who can analyze the nutrients in your food, monitor your workouts, track your weight, and offer feedback in real-time - without adding stress to your life? Lark can! 

Lark can turn healthy living into something simple. Lark is available 24/7 through your smartphone to guide you as you make decisions that affect health, such as which foods and beverages to choose, how to fit in a little more physical activity, which actions may contribute to better sleep, and how to manage stress. Plus, Lark can track your progress and provide personalized recommendations when you log meals, activity, weight, and sleep.

Your health insurer may include Lark as a covered benefit so you can have your personal coach in your pocket all the time at no cost to you. You can find out by clicking here. You could be on your way to a healthier lifestyle in minutes!

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