How to create a healthy habit

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? Have you been able to build any new positive healthy habits? Or are you still struggling on where or how to start? If you feel like you are just spinning your wheels in the mud then reading this will definitely help!

Getting Started

This is the hardest part, overcoming the inertia of starting a new habit. Most people come into the new year in the Pre-Contemplation Phase of the Behavior Change Model. They have an idea of what they want but are unsure about how to get started.  Where do they begin? Do they need any help? There are countless questions. Once you narrow down what habit you would like to build you need to set SMART goals. They need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have a timeline.

For example, if you’re goal is to lose weight you will need to be more specific. What does that weight loss feel like? What does it look like? Is it your college weight, pre-kid weight, etc. or is it to fit back into those clothes in the back of your closet. Once you narrow down your goal, you will need to figure out how to measure that goal.  If it’s a number then a scale, circumference measurements or body fat composition would do fine. Is your goal attainable?  Is it realistic? What’s your timeline?

You’ve Made A Goal, Now What?

Once you’ve picked your goal it’s time to get started. Where do you begin? You’ll need to begin exercising, but what will you do? You will need to start eating healthier, but what does that mean? The most successful way to reach your goal is to live each day purposefully, be prepared and be consistent.

  1. Purposefully – Your goal should be your number one priority (this is obviously behind your family who hopefully support your goal) when you wake up and throughout the day.  It should drive your decisions for the day. It should determine what you eat, how much and planning your workouts. You will not reach a realistic goal if you don’t really want to reach it.
  2. Be Prepared – If you know that you will be going out to eat that’s not an excuse.  Look up the menu ahead of time and plan out your meal. Chain restaurants have all of their nutrition information provided making those places easier to navigate. Plan your workouts earlier in the day before you’re able to make up an excuse as to why you couldn’t work out that day. You chose to do nothing, accept it, and move on.
  3. Be Consistent – You must understand that each day is different. The weather is different, what you eat and drink is different.  You even probably slept differently. You may have made a less informed choice at dinner the night before or an actual emergency came up that you weren’t able to work out. That is OK because when you consistently move more each week and eat healthier each week you will have established consistently which over time will allow your goals to fall into place.

Understanding is Key

Creating a positive habit doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and a plan. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us!  You can either contact us or comment below!

Here are a few resources for you to begin looking at:

  1. Workout Essentials 101: Guide to Resistance Training – We outline all of the aspects of a resistance training program so you will have a complete program.
  2. Which Comes First, Cardio or Resistance Training? – We get asked this question a lot so we decided to hash out the answer!
  3. Cardiovascular Exercise: A Fitness Guide – Here we outline the basics of a cardiovascular program to get you started.
  4. Is Some Exercise Better than No Exercise? – What happens when you only have time for a 5 or 10 minute workout?  Is it worth it? You Bet!
  5. Flexibility Training: A Key Element to your Workout – This is one of the most underutilized yet most important aspect to exercise.
  6. Your Guide for Meal Prepping – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin.  Don’t fail!
  7. Meal/Snack Timing Pre & Post Workout – Conquer your down time.
  8. A Simple Way To Maximize What You’re Doing In The Gym – We cover post workout nutrition here.

References

  1. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Brent

Brent

President, Personal Training Manager at Body By Brent LLC
Brent
Brent
Brent
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