It’s obvious, we’re told. If you want to instill a healthy habit set yourself specific, measurable, attainable and realistic goals, become accountable, and go get stuck in! The main problem with relying on goals to super charge your willpower is that goals take time – try drinking with your left hand and see how long it takes before it feels comfortable.
How is it that ten athletes can all share the same goal of winning gold but that only one athlete attains it? Same goal! Does the gold medalist simply want it more than the other? The key to winning gold is most probably down to their process being better. Their achievement (outcome of good habits) is as a result of repeatable behaviors, day in and day out, normally over several years.
When you focus only on the result, this can lead to disappointment and frustration. The main reason for this is you cannot control the outcome – you can only control your behaviours; and this is where the treasure lies.
At HealthTribe, we help clients change their lifestyle by teaching them the simple, foundational principles of health and fitness. Whether their goals are to lose weight, recover from arthritis, improve digestion or sleep better, the answer is to focus making small but powerful changes.
Changing habits takes time so keep it simple and repeat.
Repetition is the key to uninstalling undesirable habits and installing healthy ones. Anybody can go dry for January or lose 1 stone on a 6-week transformation programme, but can those behaviours be sustained for the rest of your life? Unlikely. Why?
#1. Focusing on the outcome dwindles with a lack of will and motivation
#2. The changes are too big to make it easy to repeat until they become automatic
#3. To change your habits long term, you have to change how you see yourself
Your habits reflect your identity, and your identity reflects your habits.
This is something I’ve taken from James Clear the author of ‘Atomic Habits’, it makes so much sense, and is so true.
With this approach you focus on ‘who you want to become’. The great news is you have the ability to wake up every day and become whoever you want to be!
Being a Health and Lifestyle Coach naturally dictates that I make healthy choices, which hopefully inspire others to do the same. I see myself as a role model and mentor; somebody that leads by example. My daily habits therefore mirror my identity. Quite often I coach people who’d like to change their habits but are still clinging on to old beliefs and self-image. Once you decide to change your identity and understand who you want to become, your lifestyle habits will reflect it.
Here are some simple tips to install more desirable and long lasting habits:
Tip 1 – Decide who you want to become, how would you like to be seen by others?
Tip 2 – Set yourself measurable goals – this is purely to help guide you in the right direction and is a means of measuring success.
Tip 3 – Get some professional advice and become accountable. At HealthTribe we can highlight the most efficient way for you to make sustainable changes. Accountability is key when making lifestyle changes.
Tip 4 – Keep it simple and easy. The easier the behaviours are the more likely you’re going to be in repeating them. Remember, habits are ingrained through repetition.
Tip 5 – To stop procrastination, adopt the 2-minute rule. Rather than ‘I must meditate for 20 minutes’, commit to just 2 minutes. Habits are more likely to be carried out if they’re simple and easy. When the habit starts to become automatic, add a few more minutes. When you struggle to carry out a habit, make it easier!
Tip 6 – Measure change every 2 to 4 weeks. Measuring change more frequently can lead to frustration.
Tip 7 – Enjoy the process. Know that the changes you’re making are worth it, because you are!
If you could do with help introducing healthy habits into your lifestyle, then please get in touch and set up a free initial lifestyle coaching chat.
Time to design your habits!