With some hard work, commitment, and sacrifice, most of you can reach your goal, but how long do the results last?
Developing good habits and learning not to repeat bad habits is the best way to reach your goals.
Achieving your goals is a result of your effort over time. It’s the things you do over and over, day in day out. That sounds boring right, but when these things are habits, you don’t even notice you’re doing them.
Imagine a tight rope stretched out between two points. As you attempt to walk from one end to the other, you aren’t looking at the end of the rope. You will be looking down at your feet and the section of rope your next step must balance on. You know that if you just keep taking small steps, you will eventually reach the end of the rope. If you lose focus on those small steps, and concentrate on the end of the rope, you’re more likely to fall off.
Using habits is very similar, in that the best way to reach your goal is to focus on the daily habits. One small step at a time and repeat it every day, you’re going to get to your goal.
What is a good habit?
It can be different for everyone and depends on what you want to achieve.
If weight loss is your goal, a new habit could be drinking a glass of water before each meal, taking a 5 minute walk every day when you wake up, or not eating after a certain hour of the evening.
Developing habits is easy to say, but how do you do it?
It’s a myth that a habit takes three weeks to form. Habits form each time you repeat them. It doesn’t magically happen after three weeks. It’s all about the neurons in your brain firing up together and creating stronger links between each other.
Each time you repeat something, more neurons related to that task join up. It’s often said neurons that fire together, stay together.
Getting your brain to make these connections requires repeating the action you want to make a habit many times, therefore it’s important to be consistent.
Breaking bad habits also relies on the connections between neurons. The difference here is that by repeating the habit less and less, the connections are not reinforced, and eventually breakdown.
How to create new habits easily
Here’s a couple of techniques I use with clients, to help develop new habits.
Give your new habit some context. Instead of saying, “I will walk 10 mins every day”, add context. Say “I will walk around the block every day after lunch”. This gives you a time to exercise your habit and defines it with the distance/time you will take to do it. This reduces the chances of missing days.
Habit stacking works well too. This means you add your new habit to one you already have. For example, every morning you go downstairs and switch on the coffee machine, this is an existing habit. Try doing 5 minutes of meditation every morning when you turn on the coffee machine. After some time, you will automatically sit and meditate as the coffee brews. Voila, a new habit is formed, and it was super easy because you used the existing habit to trigger the new one.
Creating new habits can make a huge difference to changing your lifestyle. If you want to lose weight, become fitter or live a more healthy life then do get in touch with Andrew Louro – our Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach on 020 8316 5316.