I think everybody knows someone who tried a ‘quick-fix’ diet. Lose X amount of weight in 12 weeks! After this period, they revert back to their old diet….and their old physique.
Everybody also knows someone who started exercising, sometimes even enthusiastically, but quit after a few weeks. Or just after the first run. It was raining, you can’t run in the rain!
It’s a new month, so we’ve got a new topic. I want to talk about habits with you guys.
What’s our point with the examples above?
Creating a new lifestyle isn’t easy. The habit of consistently eating right for your goals is something that is learned over time, and not just in 12 weeks. Sometimes it takes 12 months, or longer. That doesn’t mean you’re not making great progress, it just means you’re constantly learning.
Creating healthy habits is more like a marathon than a sprint. You try to evenly build up your race and commit your time and resources to make it sustainable. You don’t throw everything you have into battle from the first kilometer, because you’ll be gassed out in no time- and you’ll have no choice but to give up before reaching the finish line.
Having said that, I want to make a very, very important point: you will gass out. You will stumble, you will fail. You will break your newly acquired healthy habits. And that is TOTALLY fine. But don’t beat yourself up over it. Guilt makes people do stupid things, like an all green juice fast that will make you lose 7 pounds in 7 days- and gain it all back in no time. Why? Because it’s not sustainable.
Bottom line? You will fail, more than once, while creating healthy habits. Don’t feel guilty. Consistency and persistence are essential for long term results, not perfection: just stir back onto the right path.
Yes, that path. The one we talked about last month. Your environment is essential to your success. If you don’t change it to be conducive to your goals then you’re setting yourself up for failure. That might mean changing what you buy, how you set up your day or even how you interact with certain people.
People are often scared of change. Even if it doesn’t affect them directly. They see you eating healthy? They’ll tell you you’re being too strict. They see you limiting your alcohol intake? They’ll tell you you’re being boring. Etcetera.
Ideally you explain what it is you’re trying to accomplish and that you’ll appreciate their help in making it easier for you. That won’t always happen so you tell them that they should put a sock in it or you limit your interaction with them. If that’s not a possibility then try to find likeminded people that will support you and your efforts.
While building habits might be more like a marathon, life might be more like HIT or interval training. You’ve got periods when you can go really fast and give it your all, but you also have periods when you have to take it slow. And that is normal. It’s an art to recognize which phase you’re currently in, but it’s an art worth practicing.
We often think in periods, like a 3 month weight loss program or a 6 week exercise regime, but being healthy and creating the habits to accomplish that are things you have to practice for life. Of course you’ll have periods where things might not seem ‘healthy’, but that’s okay and normal. Everything in moderation, even moderation. That means you’ll sometimes have a crazy full-out food filled frenzy with friends , liquor overflowing the cups and all that jazz. That’s good. And healthy. Do it, enjoy it, and don’t feel guilty.
Just stir back to your basics afterwards. Continue that for life and you’ve got it made.