It’s one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. It’s a goal that massive amounts of people around the world have. Perhaps most importantly, it’s an incredibly difficult. So, what is it? It’s getting healthy. Every year, massive amounts of people make attempts at becoming healthy, making drastic changes to the ways in which they live, at least for a short time. However, for most, these attempts at getting healthy ultimately fail. Why is that?
It Starts With How We Go About Getting Healthy
Getting healthy is a massive goal. It includes eating better, quitting bad habits, taking time to exercise, reducing stress, and much, much more! Interestingly, when most people try to get healthy, they make drastic changes, and hold onto those changes for a day or two. But ultimately, most people will fall back into their own habits. So, what’s the deal? Why is it so easy to fail when we try to get healthy? The answer has to do with how we go about doing so.
T. Harv a highly successful entrepreneur and public speaker made a very good point in a recent video. The problem that most have isn’t that they are not trying or even trying to do the right things. The problem is the shotgun approach. The idea that you will be able to change ALL of your bad habits over night! Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works. The reason that getting healthy is so hard is that we are changing too much at once.
Human Beings Are Creatures Of Habit
The truth of the matter is that as human beings, we are all very habitual creatures. Any reputable psychologist will tell you that breaking any habit is harder than we may think, let alone breaking all of the habits that lead up to an unhealthy lifestyle. So, instead of making an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to health, or anything for that matter, it’s better to take a step by step approach.
Examples Of An Approach That Will Likely Lead To Better Success
Instead of jumping into your new, healthy lifestyle with both feet, let’s start with the big toe. Here’s an example of how to do that.
Let’s say that you are an overweight smoker that has a hard time getting motivated to exercise and works at a high stress job. Well, there’s a bit to work on, but if you take it step by step, working your way to health is an attainable goal. For this example, let’s break the unhealthy lifestyle into four habits: Poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise and high stress level. Now, let’s make a plan for tackling these problems one step at a time:
When it comes to a poor diet, instead of going into an all or nothing salad diet, start changing your habits little by little. For example, if you drink a lot of soda, walk that habit back to drinking water and healthy juices. Once you’ve successfully changed your drinking habits, think about making small changes to your eating habits. Maybe setting a time limit on the latest time in the day you can eat, or changing the portion of one meal per day. Once that becomes comfortable, you would move on to the next change. Sure, this is going to take time, but if you can make one small occasional change to your habits, those small changes will likely add up to a big improvement in your lifestyle.
Smoking is an interesting habit. That’s because it’s not just tied to the fact that we are habitual creatures, there are added chemicals in tobacco that turn habit into addiction. Considering this, smoking is not an area that many believe should be walked back in steps. Unfortunately, the best way to quit smoking is to do so cold turkey. Nonetheless, when it’s time to quit smoking make sure that you are not in the middle of any other lifestyle change. This way, you have the ability to focus all of your energy on quitting this highly addictive habit.
Lack Of Exercise
Lack of exercise is one of the key reasons that 97% of Americans live unhealthy lifestyles. So, this is another area where it’s best to take a step by step approach. Instead of saying that you’re going to spend an hour per day, 7 days per week at the gym, consider going to the gym one day per week for one hour. Once this becomes comfortable, move it up to 2 or 3 days per week and slowly work your way to a habit of going to the gym every day!
Stress is a very difficult habit to break. Often times, we work in positions that can be very stressful, and we feel like we have no control. However, believe it or not, if you work on the other three issues in the list above, this one will start to naturally work on itself. After all, those who are in a healthy condition when it comes to weight and exercise tend to live much less stressful lifestyles. It’s also a good idea to think about what causes your stress, and working on slowly changing habits that may lead to your stress.
Making changes to go from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one can be very difficult. However, one of the factors that makes it so difficult is the all-or-nothing approach that many tend to take. By breaking your approach into small goals, each goal attained will bring you one step closer to a healthy lifestyle and your chances of success will climb!