Establishing daily habits or imprinting changes you want to make on a daily basis is a great way to make healthy decisions and actions naturally
Researchers showed habits are formed and can be changed by using the 7 steps blueprint specified below
It’s never to late to change but you have to really want to make the change and then persevere, never give up
Here’s your blueprint:
- Keep it simple
“Goals are useless unless they guide you to make specific behaviours easier to do. Don’t focus your motivation on doing Behavior X. Instead, focus on making Behavior X easier to do.”
If you want to sign up for a sports event then begin by working out the small steps that build up to the big event
If it’s running then try the walk – run training program
If it’s an obstacle course then work in strength progression
Stay on track by focusing on the short term goals; as you achieve them you will become more confident
- What are your triggers ?
Our triggers are mainly visual or audio ; almost 50-70 percent . These triggers formulate that habit, be it positive or negative. So reinforce the good triggers ; stay away from tea breaks if you know the biscuit jar comes out and you are trying to be healthy. Stay away from people who nag you to go down to the bar after work and you need to get your training in and ditch the people who tell you you are crazy , stupid or you will never succeed ,one barrier to that early morning run may be fumbling for your workout gear so have it all ready to go the night before – or sleep in your gym kit 🙂
The second complementary habit – is the habit of a forcing ourselves to do something regularly . Make a regular appointment with yourself to workout on specific days the longer you force yourself to stick with this routine the more you are reinforcing this positive behaviour and, the less likely you are to break it. The routine of adding one more day to your set appointment becomes the reward.
Keep a journal and write down how you feel afterwards looking back and realizing that “wow I felt like I could fly “after your last workout …. or “ I feel so crap for eating that pizza” reminds you how great your habits make you feel and how bad you respond when you do not stick to them.
Remember it’s always harder to do that workout than sit on the sofa or eat that portion of chips than pick the salad but it’s the long term we focus on not short term gratification which does not serve us well in the long term picture
- Patience and persistence …..Give it a week, or more
The average new habit takes 66 days to establish, to move it to the background of our brain where it becomes automated. The brain’s behaviour pathways need to be strengthened to form a habit, which can happen in as little time as a week.
Track your progress – strength gains, swim time, weight or body fat , prove to yourself you are improving ; reinforce your good habits.
Life is a rollercoaster you will have bad days. The one thing we all have in common is that we will all die and we will all suffer and just have bad days . Many individuals perceive a good streak that ends as a failure, and they let it become the start of a new, undesirable habit that easily replaces the positive habit they were working to create.
In your training you may experience injury , you will plateau , your weight loss will slow up and life may get in the way but this is life and you must be flexible.
Just dust yourself off and get back on the train
- Remove potential negative triggers
Because triggers work both ways, we often set times . The longer you continue this for the more likely it is to stick
When you come across a negative trigger remove it.
Clean out your kitchen of junk food , ban the TV outside certain times get to bed early so you are fresh and awake the next day , minimize drinking to one day a week
The more we learn about what our triggers are, the easier it can be to avoid a cue that stops our progress. You might not have made it out of bed for the morning run but don t let that lead you to the biscuit jar , then the bar – make it positive – you were tired you needed the extra sleep but resolve to get that work out in another day – make an appointment and stick to it this time
- Don’t go at it alone
Believing that you can make a change is one of the primary factors in achieving success. Surrounding ourselves with a group who has already made the same change we are seeking to achieve can support us through the early stages of habit formation and can provide tips to make the journey easier.
Find a running partner, or an online club, or make a friend at the gym who will hold you accountable. Take on a personal trainer www.katiehandyside.com let’s It builds a sense of community and engagement that becomes another complementary reward and habit.
- Build on successes
Step one tells us to begin simple, but as a habit changes for the better and becomes more automated, it is important to reassess the “new normal” and continue to build on a positive change.
Mastering your baby steps means you can increase the load – 3 workouts instead of 2 per week ? Move the goal posts and switch things up
Many people complain to me that they are not seeing results – if you keep doing the same thing your body will no longer elicit change .
Step up the challenge .You have now mastered a mile a day and are ready for a new challenge; increase daily mileage or sign up for a local 5K race.
Replacing good habits with bad is very empowering
Knowing and believing you can change your body , lose weight, do an Ironman, put on muscle changes the way you approach all your problems
Wherever there is a will there is a way
What ever the mind CAN conceive the body can achieve
Prepare yourself for hard work but lots of rewards !
Shouting out to all health care practicioners to please drop me a line if you are interested in expanding your network or looking to enhance your practice email@example.com