Michelle Kuiv, Boom Fitness
Have you ever seen anyone get amazing fitness results and wonder how they did it? Have you ever tried a trending diet or workout and get some results to start then fall off and wonder what happened? Or maybe you had a hard time sticking to it and did not get any results. If you ask many of those successful people what they did to lose weight, gain muscle, or make other lifestyle changes they will start by telling you the tools that they used to get there (a certain program, diet etc.) but when it gets down to it, the most important concept is consistency: picking something you feel you can stick with and is sustainable for the long term; creating lifestyle habits that support you and your personal goals.
When it comes to exercise sometimes the best physical activity is the one you will do. Picking an activity that you enjoy creates a positive connotation to physical activity that may not exist if you had to begrudgingly work out just because it was “good for you.” Many people find success doing things like outdoor activities, group classes, or working out with a friend or trainer. Putting yourself in a positive environment with like minded individuals can help keep you on track and accountable. In addition we are all individuals and what works for one person may not work for another so it is beneficial to branch out and try new and different activities to see what works for you and what you have fun doing.
When it comes to identifying a diet plan that will work the first question to consider is “can you keep doing that for the rest of your life?” If the answer is no then rarely is this going to be the solution to your problem. If the answer is yes and it is something that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle then it is most likely to yield results. One of my favorite books “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy identifies how making small consistent changes can compound together to create life altering results.
One of the best ways to create those changes is to start incorporating attainable healthy habits.
Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power of Habit” talks about creating behaviors that become so innate that you do not have to make a conscious decision to complete the task. For example you probably put one shoe on a specific foot before the other every time, you have probably locked your house or car without remembering, and you automatically swing your arms when you walk. These were all learned behaviors at one point in time. Something that may or may not be natural but your body and mind has learned to adapt to the demand with little to no thought. The same concept could be applied to healthy behaviors and habits as well. Habits can be as simple as grabbing a water instead of soda, cooking meals at home, walking the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Soon these behaviors become normal and the reduction of sugar, control of salt, and increased energy expenditure add up to a better body composition.
An exercise you can use to help create those habits is creating a handful of “I will” statements. The formula for this statement is as follows:
“I will (do this activity) at (this time) in (this place.)”
Ex: “I will drink 8 oz of water at 6 am in my bathroom after I brush my teeth.”
The more specific the better your success will be. Creating a detailed plan for a habit leaves little up to chance because you consider all the obstacles that may get in the way in advance and how you will overcome these obstacles. For the example above it may be good to consider when you are going to fill up this water, where you will get the water from, what container it will be in etc. so that nothing is left to chance. Then you begin, create a reminder system for yourself. This could be a task on your calendar or phone, a sticky note on the mirror, a checklist. Whatever is going to make you conscious of this decision. And then keep doing it until the behavior becomes habitual and every morning you walk right into your bathroom and grab the glass of water.
For many our goal in life is to continue growing and becoming better versions of ourselves. This is your opportunity, the time is now, what changes would you like to see in your life?
Call to Action:
Before you leave your phone, computer, or laptop pull out a piece of paper or an electronic note and write one “I will statement” that you would like to incorporate this week. Picking one positive habit often catipults into more positive habits so take the first step today. What will you accomplish this week?