Author: Nancy Farzan
To succeed in reaching and attaining your health and fitness goals, there needs to be a click in your brain to create new habits. New patterns must be created and old ones discarded. This is easier said than done. However, if the desire for change is strong enough, then it is certainly doable.
Commitment, discipline and creating positive motivators are all required to make these changes happen. Research has shown that it takes approximately three weeks to from a new habit. Therefore, when starting a new routine, give yourself a twenty one day minimum period to focus on.
Review your prior habits. Perhaps you spend 2-3 hours a day watching television or surfing the internet? Maybe everyday at work you visit the vending machine and purchase a candy bar? Do you drive the same route to and from work everyday? All are ingrained habits which can have a number of justifiable reasons *by you* to keep. Needing downtime, a pick me up snack and the fastest route may be your reasons. Irregardless of your answers, these are all habits.
When trying to create a new habit, you need to have a game plan that facilitates it's adherence. For example, if time is an issue that limits you from exercising, you may have to look at your "downtime" and sacrifice an hour of that to exercise time. By not forfeiting all of it, you are able to add in a new habit that will increase the quality of your life without sacrificing everything.
As to the vending machine: More than likely you do need some energy but by bringing fruit, a yogurt or some other nutritionally dense food, you will kill the hunger and rid of the old habit.
Regarding driving the same route: Can you count the times you have driven to/from the same place while thinking of a million other things and wondered if you stopped at the red lights? You were on "auto pilot" and because you have driven it thousands of times, you no longer need to think about the details. Better yet, have you let your house, got in your car and automatically went on one direction and then realized you were going the wrong way? You automatically went in the habitual direction even though that was not your intended destination. Habit!!
Obviously habits are good and bad and are necessary to create and keep change yet can be detrimental when the routines are no longer healthy.
How do you go about changing them?
1) First of all, give yourself ar least twenty one days to the new routine to become habitual. Discipline is needed BUT there are methods to create support systems. Commit and pay for a class or course, hire a personal trainer or sign up for an event that requires you do "homework". By having a time frame, deadline or being accountable to someone, this often gives a motivational kick.
2) Substitute an old habit with a new one. Instead of turning on the TV, go out for a walk, go to the gym, dance to some music etc! Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that you enjoy. That does not mean it will be easy, however it should give you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when done.
3) Chart your progress! Keep a log of how much activity (or what you eat). By taking measurements and/or seeing progress through any measurable means, helps with motivation to create anew and healthy habit.
4) Don't let excuses get in the way. Yes, there will be times when something important will get in the way. But instead of quitting, shift your schedule and do it another day or time. Prioritize the importance of your health and fitness! Excuses are JUST that.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Turning ordinary into Extraordinary!
Source: FitnessByFarzan: New Routines And Changing Habits!