We live in an age of instant gratification and want everything NOW.
We expect this same immediacy from our New Years’ Resolutions. And when we don’t magically get fit, lose weight or become organised and free of clutter within a few short days, we become disillusioned and feel like failures. Our resolutions sadly get tossed into the “too-hard-basket”.
But there IS another way! Remember at elementary school when you learnt arithmetic? The teacher taught you how to add numbers together. Then you progressed to subtraction. Over time, you simply kept building upon your newly acquired maths skills. One step at a time. It was slow and steady, but success was ultimately assured.
Likewise, I’m a firm believer in building upon great health and wellbeing habits over time.
Creating and sustaining new habits are the key to success in every endeavour – whether it’s in business, saving money or in losing and keeping off excess weight.
Let’s say the pants around your waist feel tight, you could set a motivating new goal to shed some kilos, so you look and feel fabulous, and you are so much healthier!
“By the end of March this year, I’m going to lose 12 cm from my waist circumference”. (which equates to roughly 1 cm of abdominal fat loss per week). This goal ticks all the criteria as a SMART goal – It’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and has a time-frame.
Simple changes to your eating, exercise and sleep habits are what’s going to help you reach your goal.
It’s all about baby steps. Making the new habit so simple and doable that you cannot possibly fail.
A new habit could take you anywhere from around 21 days to 60 days to make permanent. The key is to keep persevering. If you fall off the wagon, just get right back on!
On the exercise front, your initial focus and new habit could be switching from being sedentary to moving more every day via upping your incidental exercise.
Management consultant, Peter Drucker, once famously stated:
“What gets measured, gets managed”.
And yes, it is important to measure and track your results. So, you may wish to purchase a wearable fitness device, such as a FitBit, or a dedicated pedometer or perhaps to download a phone app to keep track of your progress and to spur you on.
I can’t get over how much my husband loves his new pedometer. Every day he is on a mission to “do his 10,000 steps”. A great side-effect of his new quest to be more active is that he has slashed the number of hours he sits staring at screens. Would you believe that he has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis from being a couch potato to someone who now refuses to go to bed until his pedometer reads the magic number of 10,000?!
When walking around the block or the park becomes a tad boring, you may wish to turbocharge your fitness regimen. You could walk faster or alternate between running and walking.
How about walking up the stairs rather than taking the escalator or the elevator? And for something even more challenging, you could sprint up the stairs/escalators at the train station, or up the stair-well at work. This is a great cardio and muscle strengthening workout. And you haven’t even taken any time out of your day! How’s that for great time management?!
As you master one habit and it becomes permanent part of your life, then it’s onto the next one. And then the next one.
The following quote from Anthony Robbins’ early mentor, Jim Rohn, sums it up perfectly:
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
What do you want to achieve?
How about starting a new habit today to make you better than you were yesterday? And to live the life of your dreams.
Originally published at empowered2thrive.com.au