What I believe to be key when implementing new habits...
These are my personal- and professional "pillars"...the key elements I believe to be true and important when introducing new habits into your life and that I integrate in my training style.
It's quite the “sermon” but have a read. Especially when you are in the midst of changing some things around in your life(style).
1- I'm a big believer in finding your "PAY-OFF".
Both for starting a new, positive habit and to understand why we keep a negative habit. What do you get out of it? What drives you, motivates you?
2- I believe that we might need to "ADJUST WHAT THINGS NEED TO LOOK LIKE" at times.
Be clear about what you're going for (your pay-off), but be willing to be flexible and creative in how to get there.
This can also refer to: your best can look different from day to day. Be kind. Don't always expect the same input of yourself.
3- Enjoy the PROCESS. The JOURNEY.
Make the end-result/your goal about how you want to feel (stronger, healthier, fitter, more confident, more energized etc.) versus a number on the scale or measuring tape.
Instant gratification can be the main drive for some of our habits/actions. That focus on instant results can sabotage your goals, your momentum and the enjoyment of the process.
Turn your focus on the long term gains/benefits and enjoy the process.
4- I believe in the concept of the "SLIGHT EDGE" (great principle/way of thinking, captured by Jeff Olson in the book “the Slight Edge”).
It comes down to: doing something small every day will add up to great progress…little steps we take and choices we make compounded over time, will create success.
Don't make change too complicated and intimidating. Start with little steps, little actions.
5- You will have to FORCE yourself to start at times (especially in the beginning!). Tough love. Good ol' kick under the gluteus.
Even (or maybe "especially") if you don't feel like it, just START and your mood will follow.
6- Be willing to leave your comfort zone. That's where growth and change happens. What once was your limit, can soon be your new comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Surprise yourself. Trust yourself.
7- I believe that both fitness and nutrition should never be about "punishment", but about (RE)FUELLING your body. Tune into what your body needs. Really needs, to feel nourished, energized, strong.
And yes, sometimes that might mean skipping your workout and choosing sleep.
Turn your habits into a maintainable (enjoyable!) LIFE-STYLE, instead of a drastic measure for occasional events.
8- Be (painfully and brutally) honest about what you tell yourself about yourself. What are your LIMITING BELIEFS? Which thoughts make you feel anxious, overwhelmed, insecure, small...and why?
Is that really the truth? Can we switch our perspective and replace those beliefs with empowering, healthy, self-worth promoting beliefs?
9- I strongly believe in SELF-CARE. To make and find time for YOU. To refuel, recharge. In order to be the best YOU you can be.
10- Last, but not least. And probably the most important, and hardest one.
We have to EMBRACE AND LOVE ourselves for who we are, right now. Already.
We are enough in this moment. If we don't believe in ourselves now; love and accept ourselves now...then a smaller size, tighter belly etc. will be just that...a smaller size and tighter belly. Yes, it can help make us feel more comfortable in our skin, confident etc. I'm not underestimating that.
I would be lying if I would say that I wouldn't recognize that in myself too.
But, I also know, it won't guarantee long lasting and true happiness. Believing in ourselves, loving and accepting our whole selves will...
Some of these pointers, come easier to me than others. Some of them are still a work in progress for me, but that's ok. Awareness, Accountability and Action (even little steps) are key. If you struggle with some of them too...you're not alone. And having a support-system and plan can make such a difference.
Which one of these come easy to you and which ones do you struggle with the most? Leave me a comment!