Sticking to a new health and fitness routine is tough, it can even be harder at this time of year when its cold, dark and leading up to Christmas. Its easy to just put- off until the new year. But by getting yourself mentally and physically ready for then- will get you off the ground running.
Start by stacking one small habit on top of another until you have an incredible routine (instead of trying everything at once). In this blog I’ll share some tips on how to make new habits stick.
1. Focus on small steps
Contrary to everything you hear, slow and steady wins the race. Small wins are the best way to move towards your goals with success and most importantly keeping them.
If you’re trying to get more physically active, start with a 10-minute brisk walk around your block a few times a week. You may think this sounds too easy, but that’s the point- its supposed to be. Over time, you can increase your efforts and keep them into your daily routine as the norm.
2. Don’t always count on motivation
Motivation is essential when trying to build healthy habits, but we all know motivation wont always be there. You can’t always depend on it because some of that initial motivation will wear off and you’ll need other ways to help keep you on track.
The key to getting through low motivation periods is to anticipate it and to set up strategies in advance to help you get through. Phone reminders, ask for professional help, support and block out slots for exercise without any distractions. Remind yourself that motivation can plummet and that you just need to roll with it and keep going. The enthusiasm will return, especially when you start to feel and see the benefits of your new habits.
3. Identify your potential obstacles first
Planning any potential failure might not seem like the best motivational tactic — but the truth is, no matter how motivated you are to make healthy changes in your life, you’re going to come up against certain distractions again over and over again.
If you can identify a bad habit initially and figure out what starts it, you can change the beginning of that cycle before it even kicks-in. For example, if you tend to eat foods high in sugar and fat when you’re stressed out, try to find another way to deal with stress, such as calling a friend, going for a walk or to the gym.
4. Make yourself accountable
When you find you’re losing motivation, it helps to know someone is keeping tabs on your progress. This helps as someone can pull you up when you start slipping. If you can find an accountable buddy to help keep you on track- that’s ideal. But if not, here are a few ways for holding yourself accountable:
- Make a new habit so easy for yourself to win, you’ll gain momentum and complete it every single day. For example, lets start by drinking 2 liters of water per day, if that’s really hard to begin with, take it down a notch, you can drink 1.5 liters. Over the next 7 days that’s all you’ll focus on. As long as you complete that task every day you’ve won.
- Set alarms on your phone to remind you to get to bed at a reasonable time, pack your gym bag the night before and prepare your healthy meals a day in advance.
- Until your chosen habits become second nature, write them in your daily planner, on your fridge or wherever else it takes for you to remember.
Eventually, those new habits will become embedded in your daily routine — and then you’ll be ready to tackle the next round of healthy habitual changes.
To your success,
Lean Body team
For more tips and information on how you can benefit in your daily health and fitness routines visit our website www.leanbodyuk.com