When we think of habits they aren’t always thought of in the best light. Bad habits have always been the spotlight when deciding to make a change but what about the good ones? When we decide to become healthier , fitter, it’s never an easy task, especially if we want to take a healthy route that allows us to sustain it longterm.
An approach I take with my clients has been one that allows you to go at your own pace and develop new good habits over time. We have all gone full speed ahead with extreme diets and crazy high intensity workouts that I’m sure most of us have crashed and burned. The problem is we are all creatures of habit and at the end of the year we make claims to the “New Me”, start the regimen along with the other crazies that have the same aspirations and before January ends the regular gym goers no longer have to share their favorite cardio equipment with the new year traffic.
One way to remove yourself from this cycle is start developing good habits that lead to a sustainable fit and healthy lifestyle. Obviously eating right and exercising are on the top of the list but there are a number of changes that need to take place for these two to stay consistent. For example, if you intend on going to the gym to do cardio after work then start by packing your gym bag and putting it in your car every night before you go to bed. I’m sure you have a pre bedtime ritual and this can be added to it. Even if Wednesday you know you can’t go because you have carpool that night you still need to pack your gym bag Tuesday night. Preparation is key if you want to succeed at anything.
The bottom line is small changes practiced daily create long term habits. It’s up to you to be consistent. Here are a few steps you can start today to create healthier habits.
1. Decide on 1 new behavior/habit and schedule in daily calendar
2. Plan ahead. Get the materials you need to start and have ready for use. If your new behavior is drinking more water get one that holds at least 24 oz and can take anywhere.
3. Execute. Do it and be great at it. If your new habit is taking your lunch to work find delicious recipes and prepare ones you enjoy.
4. Stay consistent. Easier said than done.
Starting something new can be tough but you are stronger than you realize.
Juliana Halloran CPT, Nutritionist BSc.