When it comes to health, fitness or weight loss, many people know what they should do to reach their goals. However, for many people, putting that into practice is often much easier said than done. Why is it so hard to do things that we know are going to help us achieve our goals? There are a few different factors that might help to answer this question.
1. You try to do everything at once – cut out all junk food, cut out alcohol, sleep better, exercise every day etc. This might happen for a week or month, but is likely not sustainable.
2. You don’t have the support you need to make the changes long term. Even though most of the changes that need to be made are ‘easy’ (just eat better food… easy! haha NOT), they are all affected by emotional, social and physical factors as well. Support is one of the most important when looking to change your lifestyle, whether it be professional, family or friends.
3. You haven’t really focused in on the WHY. This is so important when looking to change anything in your life. If the WHY is big enough (and you remember to reflect on it enough), you will have more motivation to continue with your new venture.
So how do we establish new habits in our life that are positive towards our goals? Well first up, list all of the habits you would like to change and then prioritise them from the most important to least. Remember that you want to get the most bang for your buck; list your big ticket items first… sleeping more/better, eating more fruit and vegetables, packing your food for work, eating most of your evening meals at home rather than out, drinking less alcohol and more water etc.
Next, aim to only tackle one new habit at a time, and work on this until it feels easy (ie. you don’t have to think about it), however long this takes. We’ve all heard the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ and this couldn’t be more true with habits.
The last point to consider is a time frame… don’t have one! Just play it out until you feel ready to move on to another habit, then another. I urge you to think long term… big picture… where do you want to be in one year from now; two years from now etc. Picture yourself and your lifestyle at the point and make it your mission to work (very slowly) towards that version of you.