Discover the Importance of Developing the Right Habits
The New Year is filled with resolutions from millions of people who tell themselves that they will get in shape this year and that this is going to be their year. They sign up for gym memberships and pack the gyms daily.
Usually, by March, the gyms are empty and all the people who made the resolutions are not seen again… till the following year.
So what happened? Why did they give up? Where did they all go?
The answer to this is that they lost motivation.
We live in a world where people focus on being motivated to get things done. In this article, we will look at it from a weight loss perspective. When it’s the start of the year, everyone feels motivated because it’s a brand new start. That is the hope and promise of a new beginning.
Everything seems possible and within reach. However, as the days so by and the novelty of the “newness” wears off, people lose motivation and go back to their old habits of eating poorly and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise is shelved to the back of their minds and excuses such as they do not have enough time is brought to the front.
The key words here are “old habits”. This cannot be overstated. You make your habits and then your habits make you.
If you do not have the right habits, all the motivation in the world will not help you. You will stay stagnant or regress because you are primed to extrinsic incentives but starved of intrinsic direction.
The famous motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” This is very true.
The motivation you get when the New Year comes or when you decide to embark on a fat loss quest is what gives you the drive to take action. This is good. Everyone needs an emotional boost and excitement to get things going. However, the focus should then be on developing the right habits.
You’re probably wondering, “How do I build the right habits?”
That’s an excellent question. It’s just like how you learned to brush your teeth. When you were young, your parents would have made you brush your teeth every morning and every night. You did it at the same time daily and without question. That is the key to building habits.
They say that it takes roughly 21 days to build a habit. This is not entirely true. It all depends on the habit. If it’s a cocaine habit, you could develop it in a few days. If it’s eating clean and exercising, it could take you 2 or even 4 months to develop the habit.
The bad news is that even after developing the habit of exercising, you must be mindful because we all naturally like the path of least resistance. We like to have fun and enjoy life.
Exercise and eating clean are good habits but there will always be the temptation of eating junk food or skipping workouts. Give in to these temptations too often and you’ll lose the habits.
Decide early on in your weight loss quest what time you will exercise daily and what type of exercise you will do.
Create a plan and stick to it.
You must NEVER be haphazard in your implementation of this plan. It has to be a regimen. There is reason that regimentation is a cornerstone of military training. It builds habits.
When cleaning up your diet, do it gradually. Drink more water daily. Slowly replace processed foods with fresh, healthy alternatives. Changing one’s diet is a very difficult task and must be done in gradual stages.
As long as you make every small change a habit, with time, your diet will be on point and you will gain immense benefits.
Like the Greek philosopher, Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Build the right habits and live an excellent life.
17 Tips to Boost Compliance with Your Diet and Training
Compliance is the single biggest factor that will decide if you lose weight or not. Compliance with your diet and compliance with your training regimen is crucial to seeing progress.
You can have the best diet planned out and you can have the most effective training plan mapped out but if you do not follow and stick to the plan, you’ll never see a glimmer of success.
You must aim for at least 90 percent compliance. It is inevitable that you will slip-up now and again, but for the most part, you must be compliant with your diet and training. Only then can you make steady progress.
If your compliance is 50-50, your efforts will be negated by your slip-ups. You will be stagnant and not make any progress. This is a zero-sum equation and is extremely demoralizing and discouraging. Aim for maximum compliance and you will achieve success. This article will give you a few tips to help you comply.
- Clear your fridge and house off unhealthy foods that will tempt you and throw you off-track.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal so that you feel fuller and are less likely to overeat.
- Avoid social gatherings or places where you will end up eating food or drinks that you shouldn’t.
- Go to bed early. Most food cravings happen at night when you’re tired and your will-power is weak.
- Do not make drastic changes that you cannot handle. Keep your diet changes slow and gradual.
- Use smaller plates so that your brain thinks that your plate is full.
- Track your progress, diet and training in a notebook so that you know exactly what you’re doing. Do not rely on memory.
- Plan your meals one week in advance.
- Plan your training one week in advance.
- Train first thing in the morning so that it’s over and done with and you do not need to think about it for the rest of the day.
- Engage in a physical activity that you enjoy doing and which challenges you. People stick to what they enjoy doing.
- Take note of when you feel most likely to skip a workout. Avoid placing yourself in such a situation again.
- Vary your training so that things stay exciting. Monotony kills.
- Use photos of yourself to see the visible changes over time. Since you’re looking at yourself daily, you will not realize your progress. The photos will bring things home.
- Ask yourself when you are about to do something if it will help or hurt your weight loss goals.
- Have a buddy or training partner hold you accountable for your actions.
- Record down your slip-ups and look at why you slipped up. Was it the situation? Did you deny yourself too much? What’s happening during your thought process? Examine, evaluate and eliminate the causes.
These are some of the tips that you should use to stay on track and keep moving forward. Focus on doing what is right instead of what is easy and success will be yours. It is inevitable.
Could a Fitness App Be the Key to Making Exercise A Habit?
Do you have a tough time sticking to your exercise schedule? Do you have all the best intentions, great motivation and the perfect environment for exercising, but still find yourself not working out as much as you would like? Technology may just offer the solution.
Technology in some parts plays a role in the sedentary lifestyle that many of us enjoy today. We are constantly staring at a monitor, sitting in a chair, getting little physical activity. But that same technology can also help you create the body of your dreams.
Do this. Type “fitness apps” into your favorite search engine.
You can streamline that search which returns millions of results by adding “top 10” or “best mobile” in front of the term “fitness apps”. Spending a little time searching through those results, you will see the same names coming up over and over. Give them a test drive. Fitness apps are excellent for putting your exercise efforts on autopilot and making them a habit for several reasons.
- You can access them quickly on any mobile device.
- They are usually free, with some paid upgrades available.
- You can set alerts that tell you when it is time to exercise.
- They are customizable to your unique situation.
- Since you use your cell phone on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis, you can’t hide from your fitness app.
- They integrate easily with social media, allowing you to share and strengthen your exercise habits.
Those are just a few of the reasons why a fitness app might be right for you if you have had a problem making exercise a habit. Fitness applications download quickly to your smartphone, tablet and home PC. Moving from one device to another, your information and data is automatically updated and accessible.
Most fitness apps connect with some type of community dedicated to physical fitness. Many of them allow you to automatically upload your workout information to that community. This makes challenging others, motivating yourself, and meeting people just like you a fun part of exercise.
When you first use a fitness app, you may be surprised to find that you receive an award after working out. Everyone likes to receive a “pat on the back” for a solid effort. Fitness applications reward you with exercise badges and other awards when you reach personal bests or achieve a significant milestone. Your smartphone is often the reason you don’t exercise enough. Why not let fitness apps turn your phone into a motivational, feel-good piece of technology that makes exercise an enjoyable habit?