It usually helps if you know your personality. If you know you’re competitive, then signing up for a fitness competition a year in advance, for example, would be a great choice. This way you have a goal that you’re working towards, and you’re leveraging your personality to help you succeed. If you know you’re not that competitive, you can make it your goal to play a sport you enjoy every day with a group, or walk for an hour everyday with someone, or a dog. Exercise has been deemed by psychologists as one of the most important and impactful things people can do to create change in many areas of life. The discipline and energy that one gets from daily exercise flows into how we handle our day-to-day activities, and making good meal choices is one of them.
Everyone needs mentors, a person or a group of like-minded individuals who are going to encourage you, or inspire you. But sometimes there’s just no time to go out and find them Times have gotten busy, busy, busy, and that usually means no time for ourselves and our health. We strive to finish that paper, get to that location as fast as possible, or quickly do this and that, leaving zero time to squeeze anything else in. But, like the great Tony Robbins once said, “If you don’t have ten minutes, you don’t have a life.” Even though he was talking about emotional priming, it is still relevant to the most precious gift we have been given: our health. Role models may not be around you, but that does not mean they don’t exist. They exist, and you can watch them online, read about them in magazines, and listen to them on the radio or on podcasts.
Forming Healthy Habits that Stick “ Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. ”- Jim Rohn
Motivation is the initial pull you feel towards something. It is the feeling of being charged with energy, momentary purpose, and positive emotion. Except, motivation is not the answer to long – term results. Motivation and will power get you moving, but habits keep you moving.
A great example of the power of habit is Eugene Pauly, or “E.P,” as he is known in medical literature. E.P is an interesting character because he can still walk, talk, and even cook, despite having chronic memory loss, or Viral Encephalitis, which prevents new memories from being formed. E.P can’t remember his own son, or grandchildren. When scientists came to visit, they found he knew where the food was, where to sit to watch TV, and even how to walk back to his home. Yet, when they asked him to draw a map of the house, he couldn’t do it.
That’s because they found out that habits are formed in a completely different place in the brain than visual memory. E.P hadn’t memorized anything; he had just learned different habits, such as walking six steps, sitting down, clicking a button on a remote, and voila! Entertainment.
Habit formation is extremely useful when trying to stop doing something altogether such as sugar or carb intake. We can create better results when we use the part of our brain that creates automatic, and reflexive habits such as E.P’s. All you need is a trigger and a cue.
You can start with a habit you want to change, and the habit you want. Let’s say you want to stop drinking soda and switch to organic juices. First you must look at where and when you drink soda. So you drink soda at lunch time after completing an intense work load. You drink it to raise your energy levels after doing so many mental gymnastics. The trigger here is an intense workload that leads you to seek a soda, the cue, to get your result, more energy. To establish a new routine, you need a different cue that gives you the same result. So, instead of grabbing your wallet to go buy a soda, you grab a home – made juice instead. You are still using the same trigger, an intense work load, and are still going to get the same result, an energy boost, but the cue has changed.
Overtime, this new habit of grabbing for your juice, instead of your wallet will begin to impact your other health choices. I’ve talked to many people who start drinking green smoothies, and after a few months they don’t feel the need to eat high – sugar foods anymore. It’s just that easy.