Another holiday weekend has come and gone and it's time to get back on track. It seems that everyone including myself is complaining about all the food splurges lately. With all the delicious bbq's and summer sweets, it's hard not to indulge. Are you wrong? Heck NO! But, keep in mind that all the little splurges eventually add up and before we know it the little splurges turn into biggerr habits. Proper nutrition is not just about knowing the facts it's about being disciplined and working hard to change our habits. The older we get, the more years we have had with our habits and the harder it is to change, but it can be done! If I could create a magic pill to make people stop drinking soda or stop smoking or start eating veggies, basically change habits… I would be a billionaire! Unfortunately it's not that easy, the best things in life take work and the minute you want to give up is when you have to work harder to get over the bumps… these bumps are often labeled "failure". We have all been there, tried to quit something and failed or tried to do something positive and failed. I have learned a lot about what to do to change a habit through my failures and I have also learned what NOT to do. The key is to not give up, instead analyze what went wrong and then try again. When it comes to changing your nutrition lifestyle, sticking through the bumps is all the more important. We live in a society where food marketing surrounds us with subliminal messaging: food is comfort, entertainment, fast, tasty, and cheap! These messages make changing habits harder but at least you know what you are up against. Experts say that it takes a minimum of 21 days of serious work to ensure behavior change. I have listed out 10 things that are important in changing a habit.
- Change one or two habits at a time: Sometimes I want to do it ALL! I want to run, eat healthy, socialize, indulge, yoga, crossfit, read, work, blog, and on and on all day everyday… in the end nothing gets done. Why? Because its overload. Focusing on one or two specific things for at least a month makes the new habit stick. Remember, simple rules create habits and complex rules create headaches.
- 21 days: Pick one or two rules that feed positive change and stick with it for at least 21 days. Maybe cut out soda or drink more water.Experts say it takes this much time of consistent work to break a bad habit and reinforce a good one.
- Write it down: Remember in grade school when you got detention and had to spend an hour writing down the opposite of what you did wrong (the positive behavior); this act reinforces the positive behavior. Same rule applies to adults. Physically writing down, with the archaic pen and paper (not typing or emailing) forces you to think about the value of changing the habit and makes you more committed.
- Have a support system: This is the key to success. Tell your family and friends about the change you are committed to making and have them hold you accountable. You can even pay them a $100 bucks to keep you in check for 21 days and then be rewarded the funds.
- Think through you motivation: What is your driving force in making this change? Perhaps it is a healthier life, fitting into your favorite pair of jeans, being the fittest person in the world… whatever it is, identify it, write it down and refer back to it in times of weakness.
- Realize obstacles: Life throws us curveballs to keep things exciting otherwise our monkey minds would get bored real quick. Be prepared for the obvious and unforeseen obstacles such as summer bbq's, parties, social events, etc.
- Be consistent: Consistency is key; working on your habit one day at a time will eventually result in a year of success.
- Stay focused: After a few days of change you may get bored of your new lifestyle or might be inspired to add more to your plate, DON'T! Stick with your 21 day plan all the way through and then make changes.
- Failure=Success: Yes, this is a fact. Everyone brilliant and successful has failed at some point BUT what made them brilliant and successful is that they got back up, stronger and more determined to finish what was started.
- Integrity: Stay true to yourself because that is all that matters.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." – Aristotle
What habits are you trying to change or adopt??? Post to comments and let's check back in 21 days!!!
Nutrition Seminar: Sunday July 18 @ 11am
Seminar will cover the basics of macronutrients, meal balancing, and Nutritionize now tips. Open to everyone!