We’re all guilty of it; starting up a new diet or exercise regimen, only to eventually lose interest or fall back into our old ways. During my time as a blogger, I’ve come across countless people asking questions along the lines of:
“How can I stick to eating healthy?
“I was doing great but one day just stopped keeping up with my routine, why?”
Does this sound familiar to you?
Thankfully I’m here to show you how to show you the way to make sure your changes stick for good. The key is to form habits!
” Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success.”
– Shawn Anchor
Why? To put it simply, the right habits allow boring or easily forgettable (yet beneficial) tasks to be completed on autopilot throughout your day – without having to force yourself to do them! Yes, that’s right. No more lying in your bed thinking “I should really go workout” but later forgetting or not following through. If you make a habit out of exercising, it won’t even require fore-thought, let alone procrastination.
For example, as soon as I walk through the door and see my Nike free-runs, my brain starts trying to get me to go for a walk. Before I realize, laces are tied and I’m out the door. This is because my brain recognized a cue and followed routine so that I would be rewarded.
So therefore, having solid habits can make things such as weight loss and body transformation a breeze.
What Is A Habit?
By definition, a Habit is. Think looking both ways before crossing the street (or coming home from work and straight away raiding the fridge.)
By repeating the same thing over and over again our brains strengthen said process; so that it requires less active thought, which in turn, makes it easier to do next time.
The difficult thing about weight loss is being able to repeat healthy habits enough that they become seemingly automatic (and replace our unhealthy habits in the process). Many dieters give up before this. But once it does occur, and it will eventually, there’s a very slim chance you’ll ever revert back to your old ways.
Most people want to know the secret formula for quickly creating good habits – but if I’m to be honest with you, there isn’t one. Though if you read on, you’ll discover some good ways to start making serious changes to your routines.
How Do Habits Work?
At the core of every habit, there is a simple neurological loop: A cue, a routine and a reward.Which for the purpose of demonstration, looks a little like the image to the left. In order to understand your own habits, firstly, you’ll need to identify the components of your neurological loops.
Cue: what specifically triggers your behavior – for example, a certain smell, time of day or even a feeling.
Routine: the behavior you undertake after being triggered by a cue.
Reward: how you feel afterwards – for example, satisfied, happy, full.
Once you have discovered the habit loop of a particular behavior, you are then able to look for ways to switch out your old routines with healthier ones! Though obviously, it can take a lot of time and dedication to make the habit change stick.
For a more in-depth explanation of this, including some great examples, head to this website (don’t worry, this is simply an informational website and not a product page). Though you might want to consider reading – by either getting a copy on loan at your local library or purchasing Charles Duhigg’s full book “The power of habit” – flicking through it myself definitely had a huge impact on how I perceive a range of things, not just healthy living; and thus why I’m suggesting it to you now. After-all, the purpose of my website is to spread good tips to others!
So What Habits Do I Need To Start Forming?
Honestly, it is different for everyone – depending on your goals. But some example habits include things such as drinking a glass of water before each meal, staying active during lunch breaks, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or even making sure you have a cheat (or rather, treat) meal!
However though, during my journey I came across a great resource that explains most of the fundamental (key) habits, of which are needed to successfully stick to such a large lifestyle change.
“27 Body Transformation Habits You Can’t Ignore” is, first and foremost, an absurdly long title for a program; but more seriously, provides the key habits and health advice that you need in order to be successful with your lifestyle change. It also enhances any regimen you may already be doing by providing solid foundation.
Within the covers lies a compilation of simple (yet effective) healthy lifestyle hacks – that when practiced often, can form habits that greatly impact the way you live your life. This guide gets the ball rolling – and keeps it rolling, so that you can continue with your journey even if motivation fades.
Anyway, the purpose of this article wasn’t to give a review- but i’ll drop the link to one I’ve just written below.
How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?
Again, everybody is different. You may have read the quote floating around, saying that it takes 21 days to create a habit. When it comes to my own experience, this is incorrect. In reality, it takes a lot longer – especially if you’re trying to change multiple habits at once!
But regardless, when it comes to something as substantial as this, time is not of the essence. You have the rest of your life to work on it – though obviously, the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll improve certain aspects of your life! The art of changing habits can be a long, difficult process – but once things start to switch over and fall into place, it gets much easier, promise!
By putting all of the above knowledge into practice, hopefully you’ll be able to finally stick to eating right and working out, long term. Just remember that making and abiding by new changes is hard work. Start off slowly and build from there – after all, this is a lifestyle change (permanent solution) and not a quick fix!
Was this article helpful? Have further questions? Leave a comment below!