If You're Type A, These 5 Mental Tricks Can Change Your Health Habits


It's October, which means pumpkin-spiced everything has officially rolled in.

You're sipping the PSLs and eating all the cookies and muffins you can get your hands on.

Before you know it you'll be scarfing down Halloween candy, then it will be Thanksgiving (hello, mashed potatoes and pie) and eventually the holiday season will have you drinking and eating everything in sight.

Do you see where we're going with this? Basically, your waistline is bound to suffer quite a bit once fall hits.

But if you have a Type A personality, we have good news for you.

Whether you want to prioritize your health and wellness throughout the holiday season or just lose a few pounds, these simple mental tricks will help you along the way.

Set a goal.

Type As are high achievers.

You're the straight-A students, the class presidents and the guys and girls who land the corner office.

So why not apply this concept to exercise and healthy eating? Set a goal.

Maybe you usually run a 10-minute mile. Set a goal to run one in 9:30. Or maybe you've got an extra five pounds on you and you have a high school reunion coming up. Now that's something worth working for!

Once you've got your goal in place, there will be no stopping all you Type As out there.

Make a plan.

The prospect of having a plan of action is thrilling for a Type As, and it's one of the reasons you're so successful.

So if you want to get healthy, make a plan.

For example, maybe you want to lose 10 pounds in 2016. Figure out what that breaks down to pound-wise per month (1.2, in case you were wondering), and decide how you can get there.

Maybe you want to download a fitness app to track the calories you eat and the ones you burn through exercise. Or maybe your weight-loss plan involves more cooking and less takeout.

It could simply mean saying "no" to the free bagel and pizza day at work.

In any case, if your personality type is any indication, making a plan will help you get healthy in no time.

Add it to your to-do list.

Type As, be honest: How often does something on your to-do list not get done?

Whether it's re-organizing your closet or perfectly planning a surprise birthday party for your boyfriend or girlfriend, you get sh*t done.

We're going to guess you also have an uber-organized calendar. Why not pencil (or type... whatever) in a 6:30 am run a few times a week and carve out an hour to try that kale and quinoa pilaf you've been meaning to cook for months now?

As soon as your health plans are on the calendar, there will be no stopping you.

Pick the right type of workout for you.

Type A people hate waiting. Grocery stores, security lines at the airport -- forget it. You need efficiency!

So if you've got a Type A personality, certain workouts may not be for you. Yoga, for example, may be too slow. Maybe there are even certain moves in your barre class that make you feel impatient.

So find a workout that's tailored to your personality. Walking or running are both awesome options. If you want more, try out a bunch of different classes -- spin, pilates, boot camp, the works -- and find one you love.

Figure out if you're an "abstainer" or a "moderator."

This one is a tad more complicated. But don't be intimidated by those words! They actually have pretty simple explanations.

An abstainer is someone who just says "no" to unhealthy food. If you're an abstainer, you're probably the kind of person who won't eat just one pumpkin spice chocolate bar (because those definitely have to exist somewhere in the realm of pumpkin spice products), you'll eat five.

As an abstainer, your best bet is just not to eat it at all. Cake? Nah, it's not for you.

Moderators, on the other hand, are all about -- you guessed it -- moderation.

Moderators can have a piece of dark chocolate after lunch and call it a day. Is that you?

If so, there's no reason to tell yourself you can't have a cookie ever again because it's very unlikely that just one will derail your diet.

As happiness and habits expert Gretchen Rubin explains it:

There’s no right way or wrong way – it’s just a matter of knowing which strategy works better for you. If moderators try to abstain, they feel trapped and rebellious. If abstainers try to be moderate, they spend a lot of time justifying why they should go ahead and indulge.

Once you've figured out whether you're an abstainer or moderator, we have no doubts you'll be able to apply your tendencies to your health habits for the better.

Now that you're equipped with a solid set of mental tricks, go forth and be your healthiest self.