Staying on Track
Like video? Check out the #HyperLive video from December where Steph covers this subject!
We’ve heard a lot about self sabotage from our self-help articles that get shot out into social media, we’ve talked about it with our friends, we hear about it at the water cooler around February and March when the new year resolutions become too hard. Let’s focus on self success! How can you guarantee yourself that you can stick to your lifestyle changes?
Find your jump off point
Fresh-Start Effect are attractive starting points for us human people to try a new thing. Whether it’s the new year, a new week, or a new month, we find markers that we associate importance to and use those as our starting line.
Doing a complete overhaul of your life is exciting, fun, and overwhelming. So many changes! Even if you benefit from these changes in your lifestyle, the adage “old habits die hard” tend to apply. Whether you’re starting a new way of eating, aka the diet, or trying a new training routine, the pull to revert to former habits of less activity and eating nutrient not dense food tends to secretly tug at you. Sometimes it’s just plain burnout. It’s too much.
Depending on your environment, that pull may be giant or small. Regardless, instead of trying out a whole new life, instead go for small changes that can be maintained over long periods of time. They will lead to long term positive changes that become part of your life.
Here is an example of incremental changes on a week by week basis:
Week 1: drink at least two glasses of water a day
Week 2: eat one vegetable a day, cooked or raw
Week 3: eat one fruit a day
Week 4: be in bed by 10pm
Week 5: work out four days a week
With this example five weeks, we have addressed hydration, nutrition, sleep, and consistency in workouts. That only 35 days of work! With each week, you are ADDING to your new habits. Those additions become a lifestyle change with consistency. Which leads me to my next point…
Did your parent lay out your clothes the night before school for you when you were in grade school? Did you park your backpack by the door so the morning would go smoothly? Maybe you set your cereal box, bowl, and spoon ready so you eliminate those tiny steps, leaving only your designated prep parent to chase you around the house with a wet washcloth because you refused to wash your face on your own each morning.
Those preparatory steps that kept your family sane during the daily school ritual can be applied to your own daily routine. You may already do some of these things! Here’s some ideas on preparing yourself for your best year yet, day by day:
- Prepping backpack or bag of choice the night before with work and workout items. Yes, this includes extra underwear and shower stuff!
- Preparing two large food batches one day a week or every two weeks then divvy up into containers for your lunches.
- Setting an alarm for when it’s time to go to bed
- Washing your clothes on a specific day each week
- Put working out into your calendar and have a friend join you
- Start each morning with a five move stretch routine every day
These are just a few ways to systematically streamline your weekly and daily goings ons to guarantee your success in your lifestyle change! Creating consistency with some easy preparation a few hours or the day before gives you less excuses to not accomplish your new weekly change.
Do Stuff You Like
This stuff does not include eating a whole cake. The asterisk to this one is the stuff you like has to help you in a positive manner. When we do things we like, we reduce tension. When we are less stressed, we are more likely to stick to our new, improving habits.
Maybe it’s building Lego models with your kids, which is quality family and creativity time. Taking a walk with your dog gets your heart going, gets a chore done, and you may just have some fun with your best friend. Reading helps clear your mental space while allowing your body to rest. Baking can be a great stress reliever, then sharing with friends allows an excuse to hang out! Whatever it is you do to relieve some stress and keep you on a healthy track, make it something you actually like doing.
Exercising isn’t always rainbows and sunshine, so make those rainbows on your own to balance out doing the new stuff. Are you already slipping? Maybe this article is coming to you in the midst of an undertaking that you’re wavering. Fear not! These tips all work no matter where you are on your journey.
Get more great advice on the monthly Haddad Training Newsletter!
4 Fast Ways to Enter the World of Meal Prep by Steph Haddad Haddad Training
How Daily Meditations Can Reduce Work Stress and Increase Happiness by Sarah Poland Forbes
How to Get Better at Anything by Dan John Testosterone Nation
Making lifestyle changes that last American Psychologist Association
Scientists say this simple psychological shift can help you achieve your goals by Shana Lebowitz Business Insider
When Willpower Isn’t Enough by Steven Dubner Freakanomics Radio