Fallen off the “new year, new you” wagon already? Have you finished your Whole30, or figured out that your body isn’t meant to run on fats as a primary fuel source?
Did you finally realize how much time it takes to follow the strict rules of a fad diet and decide we no longer have time for that? Or maybe you just finished a challenge or detox and are looking for a new road map to follow so the scale doesn’t go back the wrong way.
If you currently find yourself looking for a sustainable plan to optimally fuel yourself for a healthy lifestyle, look no further!
While we are mostly all aware of our self-proclaimed “good habits” and “bad habits,” we still struggle with changing them and breaking them long-term, even when we have good intentions. Fad and crash diets with well laid out road maps seem like an easy answer to breaking old habits, but unfortunately most of the time they do not do anything to transition you from poor, old habits to new, healthier ones.
Usually cut and dry plans are the quickly successful ones, yet also the plans that only provide short-term success. To sustain your health and wellness goals beyond a 6 week or 60-day challenge, we must turn to true habit change.
Where To Start
Step 1: Identify the habits that you want to change. And I don’t just mean continue to complain about how you can improve to your gal pal or your mom. I mean actually make a list of nutritional and/or health and wellness habits you would like to change over the next few months. (Yep, you read that right. This is a process and not a quick fix.)
Step 2: Pick a starting point. Which habit that you change would make the biggest impact initially? Is it reducing your diet coke intake? Or putting up the cell phone before bed? Or is it getting up from your desk more than twice for a bathroom break during your workday? A starting point is personal, and I have a feeling you know what could make a big impact for you if you finally changed it today.
Step 3: Replace the old habit with a new one. Our habits are rooted deeply in our subconscious. If we try to just toss one out and figure life out without it as we go, we’re gonna struggle! I recommend finding a new, healthier habit to put in the place of the old habit. Drinking 2 extra bottles of water. Establishing a new nighttime routine that includes stretching or mediation. A 7-minute desk movement detox every 2 hours of sitting down at work.
So now we’ve removed something less healthy and replaced the habit with something more healthy. Sounds like a win to me! However, habit changes are not always going to be easy. You will not change your habits completely overnight.
I do not expect 7/7 perfection when it comes to daily habit changes each week with my clients, and you should not expect that for yourself. There will be days that are less than your new ideal, but those moments are when you have to stay strong and make up your mind to get back at it tomorrow! You have not fallen off the path but merely hit a speed bump. Don’t let that knock you out of the race to having a healthy lifestyle.
Know that your healthy habits should also adapt over your lifetime, particularly as your health and wellness goals change. As your daily routine changes, so should your habits. Each time you find yourself encountering a change or needing to hit a reset, go back to step 1 and look at what you want to change. You will continue to grow into the healthiest version of yourself each time you revisit that step.
If you need help adapting to some tricky situations like post-pregnancy, menopause, or during a time in your life where you find yourself mostly sedentary during the day, please reach out. I love helping clients use habit changes to reach their goals, and create a good foundation beyond our time with each other. Together we can overcome some temporary speed bumps and get you right back on the road to success.
Kathryn Terry, MS, CPT, PN 1
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