You’re ready to make some changes.
It’s time to turn over that new leaf you’ve been promising yourself.
Not so fast.
Before you begin, take a few moments to discover three often overlooked ways to help you nail your health goals once and for all.
The importance of daily action
When I was first working with clients I’d encourage them to set goals such as walking for 30 minutes three times a week.
While this sounds perfectly reasonable, I never realised that doing something EVERY day massively increases the likelihood of that new habit sticking and becoming automatic.
When we’re creating those new habits, we’re actually rewiring the nerve pathways in our brains and daily repetition is the secret ingredient.
What might this look like for you?
It might be setting a goal to walk for 5 minutes every day initially instead of 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
Or adding in an extra serving of veggies at lunch every day.
Or with a habit such as meditation or journaling putting that in your schedule to do every morning.
If you’ve struggled to make those healthy habits automatic in the past, give this a go.
You can thank me later 😉
Start small for success
When I was first told about the incredible benefits of making small changes, rather than larger ones, I can remember thinking I’d never heard such B S in my whole life!
For the longest time I stubbornly refused to follow this advice, thinking, ‘That’s all right for everyone else, but I’m going in hard’ as I started yet ANOTHER exercise program.
And totally revamped my diet.
Time and time again I failed.
And each time I failed it felt harder & harder to get up, dust myself off and have another go.
Until finally I was desperate enough to embrace the concept.
The advantage of starting small is that it takes almost no motivation and over time your new habit will naturally grow.
So if you’re waiting for motivation to descend from the heavens like I used to, this is your answer.
That 5 minutes I was so dismissive of, extends to ten minutes, then fifteen, then twenty.
Before long, moving your body regularly has become part of your life.
Your diet has slowly transformed without the usual angst.
Starting small works for all habits, whether it’s exercise, meditation, journaling or adding in those all important veggies.
Even better, you’ll just naturally start becoming healthier in other ways without really noticing.
A bit like magic.
Triggers are vital
In the early days I had no understanding of triggers & their role in establishing those new healthy habits.
In fact, triggers are so much a part of our lives, we’re simply unaware of them.
I’ve talked about how using triggers helped me establish 3 new habits previously and incorporating them into your goals and plans will skyrocket your chances of success.
So, what is a trigger?
A trigger is ideally something we do everyday that your new habit will go AFTER.
The most obvious daily trigger is getting out of bed in the morning. Which is why starting a meditation practice or exercise straight after we get out of bed can be so successful.
Even for non morning types like me!
A secondary advantage is that this avoids the willpower depletion that inevitably happens throughout the day, making it less likely for us to follow through with our plans later in the day.
It’s worth experimenting with though, as some people successfully use the trigger of arriving home from work in the afternoon to add some movement into their day.
It’s all about trial and error and what will work for YOU.
Triggers have a dark side, though and can be your biggest saboteurs if you’re not careful.
What might this look like?
The sight of the chocolate aisle as I raced through the supermarket after work used to be a massive trigger for me to indulge.
Or it could be the sight or smell of the freshly baked buns as you walk past the bakery.
Many companies know how compelling triggers like this are and deliberately diffuse tempting aromas to entice unsuspecting potential customers.
Sitting down to watch your favourite program on TV might be the trigger for you to snack on sweets or lollies.
And for many, arriving home from work is a trigger to grab an unhealthy snack.
Awareness is the first step. Be curious rather than judgemental.
Then plan how you might use triggers to anchor in your new, healthier habits while avoiding or working around any triggers you might become aware of for unhealthy habits.
So there you have it. Three things you might have previously overlooked in your quest for better health.
If this is something you’d like some support with, simply head on over to my coaching page – I’d love to work with you!