"Old Habits are Hard to Die"
“It takes 21 days to form a new habit”
After years of trying multiple diet and exercise regimes, how do we form a change in habit that is sustainable?
First, we should applaud ourselves for changing diet and exercise routines every few years. Why? Some people strive on routine; others need constant change. Take a moment to recognize where you are. At different stages in our lives, our body has different needs when it comes to diet and exercise. For instance, the nutritional and activity needs in our adolescent years, are different from what we need when we reach our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and beyond. Every few years our body changes physiologically and perhaps anatomically as well for some of us.
Our motivation to exercise may be different at each developmental stage in our lives. In our 20’s our motivation to exercise may be to get into a sexy black dress for a hot date. Later in life, exercise and eating nutritious meals may be to prevent disease, or feel energized, or relieve stress. Whatever the reason is, thank yourselves for getting off the couch and taking a walk, or going to the gym, or to a yoga class, or dance class.
Why do some people get off the couch and exercise and others don’t?
Dr. BJ Fogg, a Professor at Stanford University developed a Behavior Model that states 3 things are needed in order for Behavior Change to occur:
1) Motivation 2) Ability 3) Trigger
Motivation comes from an intrinsic will to take action on a desired goal. Next, the ability to perform a behavior. Fogg says to make the behavior easier to do. ie: A workout regime: Is it an easy or difficult workout to do? Did you set an achievable goal for yourself or are you setting yourself up for failure? Most people set goals that are too high. Starting small will build confidence and make you feel good about achieving your goals. A health and wellness coach can guide you to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals. Lastly, a trigger can be an internal or external cue to start a new behavior. For some people it will be their doctors visit, increased Blood pressure or cholesterol levels. For others it may be to look and feel good about themselves.
We have to recognize, every BODY is different. We have to pay attention to our own bodies needs on multiple levels at different stages in our lives.
Acknowledge that it may take years to change a habit.
Accept where you are NOW!
What one small, achievable change can you make right NOW for yourself?
Own it, write it down and make it happen!