Taking specific actions here and there isn’t the hardest thing in the world. Tracking your food might take an extra 10 minutes a day and going to the gym for 3 hours a week is a pretty small amount of time in the grand scheme of things. Staying hydrated really isn’t that hard. It's getting in the habit of doing these things, that is the hard part. There are a few ways you can make these habits easier to form; because we all know that we live and die by our habits and once we can make something habitual it's much easier to continue to do over time.
1) Make as few decisions as possible throughout the day.
The more decisions we make the more worn down we are by the end of the day and the less likely we are to make wise decisions, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. If you already have a workout scheduled for a specific time each day, your gym bag is packed and in the car, and you have your meals all planned out you don’t even have to think about making decisions on what you are eating or what time you are going to workout because it is all planned out for you and you can work other things around it.
2) Make habits easier to do and build upon the simplest habit first.
Making habits easier and more automatic is a great way to build them into your routine. For example, leave an empty drinking glass on your nightstand to remind you to drink water when you get up and before you go to bed to stay hydrated. This will help you just make that part of your routine. It's a small step to a better habit. You can also start by making the habit so small that you can’t really fail; as small as flossing one tooth a day, or reading one page of a book a day. You can for sure do that but over time you end up being able to do a lot more because you have adopted the habit now.
3) Set up a trigger for certain actions.
The best example use with my clients is that every time they eat they immediately record their food. If you wait until the end of the day you are less likely to make good decisions and less likely to track at all. Or every time you leave the gym you mix your post workout shake up and drink it as you drive home. Pretty soon it is going to feel weird when you don’t do it because the two actions become associated with each other. Pick habit you want to change and attach it to a previous action. Try this for 21 days and tell me if it feels weird when you stop or if you even can stop right away.
Building good habits is the essence of accomplishing any meaningful lifestyle change or big goal. It is about the little things we do over time that get us to where we want to be, not the quick fixes and the extreme fast changes. If you make a little change and are consistent for a year or more with your training and diet, you will make changes you never would have dreamed of using some fad diet or get fit quick tactic. Give it time and the habits will take care of themselves, just strive to be a little better every day.
If you are looking to change your habits this fall with the help of Progressive Performance join the Back to School Challenge today. You could win 2 months of free training.
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