How Your Habits Can Change the Game
Spending a few moments scrolling Instagram, Pinterest, or any fitspo sites will remind you that we are the product of our habits, so it should come as no surprise that being intentional with your habitual behavior is how you’ll meet your goals.
When it comes to meeting a fitness or health goal, there are three arenas you simply have to pay attention to:
Food, movement, mindset
If you ignore one piece of the puzzle, you may still make progress, but nailing habits in all three will help you reach the sought after results more quickly.
First, take a look at your habits!
Spend a week tracking food, movement, and your mindset ebbs and flows throughout the day. No need to get fancy here, a simple notebook or jotting in your phone’s Notes app can do the trick.
Food: are you eating the same thing for lunch each day? Do you crave a sweet after every meal? How many times per day/week do you succumb to your sugar-laden coffee drink addiction? Did you eat ANY vegetables over the weekend?
Movement: you don’t need a step tracker to know that you sat way too long, all day and skipped your morning workout to sleep in. You tend to park closer to the door in the parking lot. You never take the stairs.
Mindset: You step on the scale and see a number you don’t like, so you decide the day is already wasted - you have a sugary breakfast that has you feeling jittery and you let your bad vibes carry on from one activity to the next. You let the fact that you haven’t been able to hit a certain number of reps or minutes running consistently discourage you. You feel apathetic about your situation in general, and let the frustration grow.
Analyze & Get Creative:
Look for patterns! Where are your actions misaligned with your goals? Are you constantly taking actions that move you further away from your goals? If a certain person or behaviour generally causes you to move out of your “flow” and into a negative spiral, why do you keep doing it? Ex: scrolling on instagram causes you to compare your body to others, so you feel a shame spiral and lack of worth. Instead, if you’re seeking connection, call a friend and go for a walk. Replace these behaviors with something healthy.
Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable. Here are some healthy habit ideas:
Stop eating after 7pm each night to allow for a 12-hour digestion window.
Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food. Saves money too!
Schedule in a set time for moving your body 3-4 x per week. If you’re a morning, midday, or evening person, choose the time that not only works best in your schedule but you’ll actually look forward to.
Choose fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
Your mindset is ultimately what will keep you focused on building your habits. That’s why finding your “why” is so important. What are some motivating factors for building new habits? This could be confidence, ability to play with your grandkids, increase energy.
While it doesn’t always happen, it’s common for obstacles to pop up. Can you foresee what they may be? If you identify them at this stage in the game, you’ll also be able to address them before you start and set proper expectations for yourself and those around you. Ex: If a partner isn’t supportive because it takes away from together time, can you ask them to join you? If you’re concerned about the cost of a trainer or workout class, what unhealthy or frivolous spending can be cut out? If you know you lose steam after a full day of work, can you instead workout at lunch or take a few meetings as “walking meetings” to at least get moving? Bonus points there as moving has been proven to increase creativity.
It can be easier to plan ahead, to find accountability, to create a tribe or community with similar goals who will hold you to a higher standard. If you don’t have this in your network, we want to be this for you. Reach out to your Push Power community to get started analyzing existing habits or simply building new ones.
Track your progress. Seeing your reps or speed increase or body fat drop are powerful motivators, so benchmark and watch your progress as your habits gain momentum!
And our biggest suggestion: STICK WITH IT! Just like the habits you have weren’t formed overnight, your new ones won’t be either. Be patient, be realistic, be gentle, but be accountable to your best you!