Do you ever feel like creating healthier habits like exercise and eating nutritious foods is a lot harder than it should be? I get it! The IDEA of changing habits or adopting new ones can seem overwhelming. I have fantastic news for you that will make you feel better about creating healthy habits.
I am going to do a series of blog posts on building habits to help you get over the overwhelm, so you can start making healthy, positive changes. But first, it is important to understand habit-building itself, and WHY we think it’s so hard to change. In a nutshell, it all comes down to one thing, Your MINDSET. Once you get your mindset right, everything else begins to fall into place.
Fun fact: Did you know that having a positive mindset can help you make healthier choices and live longer? Even better fact: You don’t have to be born with a positive mindset. It is something you can create and strengthen over time.
I think we have all struggled with mastering new habits – things like meal prep (and then actually eating the meals we prepped), sticking with a new exercise plan, getting up earlier, reading more, etc. I know that when I used to try to get back into my habit of using a food journal, I would do great for a few days (or even a few weeks) and then boom, all of a sudden I forget or (confession) blew it off. And then I started to feel a little guilty, later I would get upset with myself … and then I would catch myself saying “I’ll just start again tomorrow” or “I’ll start next week.” (Cue the endless loop of frustration!).
Creating a new habit can be hard, and you can end up with unrealistic expectations – like having it mastered in just a few weeks. Or being perfect at it one or two days. Let’s just put it on the table and say that’s completely unrealistic.
Be prepared to slip up now and then, and when you do, get yourself back on track as soon as possible. Eventually, it WILL become easier, especially when you start to see the results of all your effort!
Lasting changes take time – so whenever possible, make sure you pick a habit that you are between 80 – 90% sure you are ready to create. If the habit seems like you won’t be able to do it on your most hectic or crazy days then dial it back, see how you can lower the difficulty level until you feel it is doable. It will increase the likelihood you will own that new habit.
The other thing to remember is that you CAN build healthy habits, even during holidays, celebrations, etc. It just takes choosing the best habit, making it doable, and having the mindset for your new habits. Maybe that is meal prepping some healthy lunches to offset indulgent dinners or parties. It could be swapping your calorie-laden latte for a "lightener" version that you make at home. Possibly you decide to go for a walk for 30 minutes a day on your lunch break instead of sitting in front of your computer.
Do you need a little strategy session to come up with troubleshooting advice for making those habits a reality? If so, be sure to get in touch with me, and let’s see if we can’t get you feeling confident about your new healthy habits this month! Click Here to Book a Strategy Session!
Jennifer Castro is a Health Educator & Patient Advocate who specializes in Women's Health & Vestibular Disorders. Coach Jenny is working towards becoming Board Certified while working as an Instructional Team Member for the College of Health Solutions at ASU. She also works as an Insurance Broker providing insurance solutions for small business & office settings, employee benefits and workplace wellness options