I’m a firm believer in everything (well, most things!) in moderation, the minute you deny yourself something, is when the craving hits worse, right? But sometimes it gets to a point where we have gone way beyond moderation and we need to make some changes! It’s never easy to change habits that have built up over the years, and we only tend to want to change something if we know it’s bad for us, so if you want to stop smoking, eat more healthily, reduce drinking or exercise more, it helps if you understand the cycle of change every human being goes through to achieve their goals.
Initially, we are unwilling to change, we then begin to consider it, we then plan towards it, next we start to take action and finally we get to a stage where that action is maintained and it becomes our norm. Sounds simple? The theory is simple, but the practice is far from easy, and it can take months or even years to make that change.
Take exercise for example. We may not think about it at all, deeming it unnecessary, too difficult, unimportant or not relevant to our lives. At some point though, we realise that to lead a fit and healthy life, perhaps we should do something. So, we start to plan for it; maybe join a gym, enrol in a class or download a fitness app. Having made the plan, we start to take action, incorporate it in to our lives and boom, we’re set on a healthy new habit 🙂
Or are we, hmmm? Life has a habit of messing with our plans and all too often, work, personal circumstances and outside influences disrupt our best intentions. When this happens, we often revert back to the unwilling or maybe the consideration phase and it may take days, weeks, months or even years before we think about making the change again.
At any stage in this cycle, we may lapse and find ourselves back at the pre-contemplation or contemplation phase, or perhaps we make all the plans to change but we never take action (this is very common and where the fear happens!)
If you have managed to take action, try to at least stay in the planning phase. Set a date to start again or try to maintain a little of what you started. Enrol the help of a partner or friend to hold you accountable for your actions; once you have told someone your goals, or even better get them to do it too, the job gets a lot easier.
Don’t try to change too much at the same time though, you are setting yourself up for failure. Maybe just pick 1 thing to work on, even something as simple as one extra glass of water a day. Have that extra glass at the same time every day for 2 weeks, 3 weeks, even a month.
Can you do that?
Once that has become a habit, change 1 breakfast a week to something healthy (scrambled eggs/green smoothie/quinoa porridge). Do that for a few weeks or a month then change another meal. Getting healthy is not a crazy 6-week juice and sweat fest, lose a stone, then put it all back on again. Small consistent changes that you can stick to, will soon begin to add up.
‘Results Require Rituals’
If you have had a lifetime of yo-yoing, you will have nothing to lose by taking the steady approach. Gradually throw in some exercise as you go (resistance training will really help with fat loss) and soon you will have built a strong foundation to success, with no end date.
Lifestyle changes are not easy and we all go through relapses – it’s only human to fall back to habits we have had for years. I learnt a huge amount reading ‘The Power of Change‘ by Charles Duhigg. As long as you keep trying, it is surprising how new habits can become your normal habits and relapses are just special occasions – parties, holidays etc!
At GO Health and Fitness we will help get you through the fear and difficulty of change and keep you accountable to ensure the best possible results.
Every change does make a difference, even if you can’t see it out the outside, your body will respond.
Yours in health, growth and happiness,