Preparation to change your life.
Don’t be scared by the title, you are already here with us at Try Fitness so that means you have already overcome the most difficult obstacle, taking the first step. In this blog, we are going to give you some simple tools that will help make the transition to a healthier lifestyle a breeze. You see, the thing about us humans is that we are creatures of habit, it’s just unfortunate that bad habits seem to be the easy ones to fall into, whereas good habits take time to master and apply to our lives.
Our ‘habits’ become our routines and these routines are the cornerstones of leading a healthy, energetic, and happy life. Breaking bad habits can often seem daunting, we don’t want to let go of them as they have become so comfortable to us. Whether that is eating a whole tub of ice-cream while you watch a movie, or eating carb-heavy meals the last thing at night, though on some level we recognise these things as harmful, they bring a level of instant satisfaction. Of course, it doesn’t last as we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror before we go to bed, but unless we actively work at changing these processes, the cycle continues.
Most of us have a list as long as our arm of healthy habits we wish to cultivate in our lives. We say we will exercise more, eat healthier, cut out fizzy drinks, etc. (Speaking from experience, I could go on), and although they are things we actively think about, we often never even begin to put them in place as it can seem so overwhelming. It is crucial that you don’t get stuck in the ‘want to do’ phase, the road to hell is paved with good intentions as I’m sure most of us can attest to. Well, it’s time to kiss goodbye to that road, it’s time to saddle up and hit the highway to healthy living! Who’s with me?
All of your learned behaviours are replaceable, in fact, you can switch these bad habits with new, healthier ones in just a matter of days. 21 of them to be exact. That’s got to be worth a crack of anyone’s time. Ok, stay with me here, our brain circuits take engrams (memory traces) and produce neuro-connections and neural pathways only if they are bombarded for 21 days in a row. In layman's terms, if you repeat something for 21 days in a row a new habit is formed. Now that doesn’t mean that after 21 days of not eating ice-cream you are never going to crave it again, but it is going to give you a really solid foundation to control those cravings. Ice-cream is fine every now and then as a treat, it really is all about moderation.
The point is, 21 days is a comfortable time period-period to build and maintain a new habit. During those 3 weeks, you learn what it takes to cultivate this habit and decide whether it is one you want to try and keep as part of your daily/weekly routine. Notice how we said habit, singular. That is because we recommend picking just 1 to start with, you don’t even necessarily have to start with the one you consider the most destructive as theory would suggest, they would be the hardest ones to break. This is about not overwhelming yourself and creating the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Start with just one habit, break it, gain some confidence then take on another, then when you are feeling even more powerful, take on 2 at the same time. Soon these will become your life, you will no longer even think about doing these things, these things will be part of you and your life just like we accept those bad habits to be right now.
Here are some tips to get you started and to help set you up for success.
- One step at a time, not many people who decide to take on all of their demons at once succeed. It is overwhelming, you are in charge of your routine, do not set yourself up to fail, make one simple change at a time.
- Plan. Spend a day or 2 mentally preparing yourself before the change, say goodbye to your bad habit properly, get closure, plan a start date, and stick to it.
- Track your progress. For physical exercise and fitness goals use the Try Fitness project trackers. For nutrition or other health-related changes, consider keeping a journal.
- Near the end of each cycle, take the time to evaluate the process, learn what worked for you, and what may not have, and reward yourself for your accomplishment. Set the award beforehand as an incentive and then begin planning your next healthy change.
While we are sure you know what things you would like to change in your life, here are a list of things we recommend you take on if you aren’t already.
- Sleeping at XX:XX time every day.
- Waking at XX:XX time every day (recommended to wake up early).
- Sleeping XX:XX hours a day.
- Exercising X times a week.
- Eating less processed foods.
- Eating fewer takeaways.
- Consuming less sugar.
- Drinking 2 litres of water a day.