Learning how to eat healthy might seem a bit intimidating now, but soon you will start to see amazing benefits and rewards. You won’t just look better, you will feel better, think clearer, and accomplish more. This isn’t just an eating journey, it is a new way of life. You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed now, but soon this will be your new normal.

Before anything else, your first step is to get into the right mindset. The way you think will determine whether you are able to succeed or fail. You may be tempted to start with looking for new recipes or stocking your fridge, but make no mistake the first and most important thing to do is to set a positive mindset for yourself. You can do this, but it won’t just happen by itself. You have to start by believing that you can. Remember, changing your life means that you will be breaking out of your comfort zone. You want a positive mindset on your side while you are making new choices and eating more consciously.

But how do you find that positive power? To begin with, instead of feeling deprived when you can’t eat your favorite comfort foods, remind yourself how proud you are with your decision to make a new healthy lifestyle. It also doesn’t hurt if you are prepared for the possibility of cravings. Buy a few new Paleo cookbooks (there are so many to choose from now!) and spend some time browsing Paleo blogs and Pinterest boards. You’ll find yourself getting excited about the new recipes that you’ll be able to enjoy and you may even find healthier versions of the foods you may be missing.

It’s also important to network and find support with other successful paleo eaters. One of the best ways to do this is by finding Paleo bloggers and spending a few minutes reading from them every day. This will help keep you encouraged and keep your spirits high while you are adjusting to a new lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to get chatty with your newfound community, it might be the difference between success and failure.

Of course it’s best if you are able to bring your family on board with your new way of life, but the reality is that many times they are going to resist. There are several ways to handle this. One is to keep the forbidden foods out of the eye of temptation. Keep all the breads, chips and other items in a separate cabinet, preferably out of the kitchen. Out of sight, out of mind.

Since paleo meals are mainly based on a meat + vegetable plate, you can likely prepare those meals rather easily. If you feel like your plate is missing something, feel free to add a sweet potato as well. While those who practice a more rigid paleo diet may disagree with eating sweet potatoes at every meal, you are just starting your paleo journey. Your goal right now is simply to start creating paleo habits.

There will be plenty of time for tweaking your plate later as you adjust to this new lifestyle. If your family has a few favorite meals, try making those meals using substitutions for the processed goods. Of course, if that still isn’t enough to get them to join you on your paleo journey, remember that respecting their wishes doesn’t mean you can’t take time to make your own meals and start your own healthy eating path.

Remember, this isn’t all or nothing. This lifestyle is made to be tailored to you. It is okay to take it slow and take small steps. You are going to have to make this way of eating a daily habit, and developing a new habit takes some time. Some have said that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, if you aren’t willing to take it slow and forgive yourself quickly, you may be setting yourself up for failure.

It’s okay to stumble. Don’t beat yourself up. Evaluate what happened, climb back in the saddle and begin again, you are worth it. Soon enough, this way of life will be a habit for you. Find your mindset, start making small healthy choices, and everything else will fall into place.