~By Kelly Scott
The Earlier the Better
Your willpower tends to be highest at the beginning of the day, so harness that energy and use it to your advantage. Have a crockpot? Take a few minutes in the morning to prepare a crockpot meal for later. That way, you won’t be tempted to grab take- out later because there is a fresh, hot and healthy meal waiting for you. The same goes for exercise. People who exercise first thing in the morning are more likely than evening exercisers to keep a consistent routine.
Make Habits Convenient
The more difficult or complicated your new habits are, the less likely you’ll be to keep them consistently. You will get more enjoyment out of the habits you’re trying to establish if the are:
- relatively easy and uncomplicated
- scheduled on your calendar so it’s easier to make the time
There are hundreds of options for becoming more active. You should do the ones that you get excited about. It doesn’t matter how “effective” any particular exercise is if you hate doing it. Doing more of an activity you don’t enjoy will just lead to resentment and failure. Instead, find activities that you actually enjoy doing and establish these as your habits!
Use Action Triggers
Triggers are things that automatically lead to something else happening. A trigger you might have now would be something like: finish eating dinner, rinse plate and put in dishwasher. So the rinsing of the plate was triggered by the finishing of a meal. Similarly, see how you can tie new habits to other actions. For example: include a 10 minute stroll at the end of lunchtime. After a while, every time you eat lunch you’ll think to yourself: “I should take a quick walk now!”
When it comes to changing your eating habits or even starting a new exercise routine, checklists will help make your habit easier to stick to. At the grocery store, Don’t leave having the food items you need to chance. Create a checklist of the foods that you need to stock in your refrigerator and pantry and print that list out every week when you go to the store. If you start a new exercise class, make list of the things you need to pack in your bag and check them off before you go. I learned this the hard way when twice I drove all the way to Baltimore for swim class and realized I forgot my swimsuit. Now I have a checklist.
Using these types of techniques to establish habits can be the difference between success and failure. As you look to establish even more Healthy Habits, check out our new program we are currently running to help you do just that – set up healthy food and activity habits for weight loss and lifelong maintenance. From nutritional guidance to help with self-care, managing stress and sleep, our Healthy Habits program has literally transformed lives!
If you are interested in our Healthy Habits Program and training the ForeverStrong method, call now at 301-452-5547 to schedule your complimentary fitness consultation! Through our personalized training program, we want to help you to become the best you can be!