Whenever you want to create a new habit in regard to your health and fitness, it’s important to start from the very beginning.
See, it’s very easy to decide that you want to work out 4 times a week and then just expect it to happen because you decided that’s what you should be doing. But as you probably know, deciding it should be so doesn’t always make it so.
To make a sustainable change in your life, you’ve got to build a habit around the change you want. If you don’t, you’ll fall off the wagon again and again, getting more and more frustrated with every ‘failure’, without addressing the underlying problem in your approach.
Here are some examples of classic ‘health habits’ people plunge into headfirst without setting the ground rules to make them sustainable:
- Drastically cutting down on the amount of calories you eat every day, or switching from your existing diet to just salad
- Totally removing all junk food, desserts, snacks and treats, cold turkey
- Working out several times per week when currently you don’t work out at all
- Avoiding alcohol completely when you’ve never moderated before
- Doing all of the above all at once.
This is a one-way street to failure and frustration.
To make all these changes, you need to do it one at a time, and in a gradual way. Simply pick one thing you want to change – say, getting rid of desserts and junk food. Then start with cutting those things out for one day per week. Then the next week, cut them out for two days a week. In the third week, skip them for three days – and so on, until you’re no longer indulging.
Then you can move onto the next habit you want to change. Make sure you pay attention to the routines around your habits too – sometimes you need to change your routine a bit in order for the new habit not to get overwhelmed by the rest of your life.