Why is it so difficult to make lasting healthy lifestyle changes? Many of us know what needs to change but struggle with the how. How to make them stick and last. In this episode I outline some methods that work for me to sticking with a change.
Think of your health and fitness as a walking journey. Positive decisions being a step forward and negative ones a little side step. Make enough positive decisions and you're moving in straight line. Don't expect your life to be perfectly straight, there has never been nor will there ever be a human that did everything perfect. Change your frame of reference. Zoom out to look at your line over the last week. Does it look straight? Nope, nor does mine. Zoom out to show a month. A little straighter. How about looking at a year? Ah, much better, now we're talkin'. Those little side steps are hardly visible, its just a blurry line. Now lets look at a whole lifetime. The takeaway from this metaphor is that the small day-to-day deviations from your life don't have a considerable effect when looking at a whole lifetime. Only when those deviations become a repetitive habit are they apparent when looking over the course of time. A small side step is no big deal. Just that next one in the right direction.
Keep a journal. Write down what you eat and when you eat it. Its really simple and easy. This is a great way to hold yourself accountable to yourself. Its a lot harder to eat 10 doughnuts when you have sit down right after, pick up your pen, and write "10 doughnuts." The second huge benefit of keeping a journal is allowing yourself to celebrate and dwell on the little victories. We are all self-critical and it is easy to dwell on the ways that we screwed up while pushing all the things we did well from our minds. This can leave you with a negative feeling about how you did each day. When you record everything in a journal you can look back at the end of the day, week, month, etc and remind yourself of all you did well. I bet if you had been keeping a journal the last few weeks or months you would be surprised as how well you've done regardless of what your memory is telling you.
Give these things a chance and I bet you will see a benefit. Thanks for listening/reading.