One of “Those People”
We have all met that person. The person who packs their uber healthy salad everyday. The person that always has a healthy snack on hand or always has their workout gear packed and ready for class right after work. Those people that always make dinner at home, and it’s never from a box. I can tell you that usually this wasn’t always the case for these people. Creating healthy habits by starting small helped them by making a foundation for success.
I used to think those people didn’t exist. I used to think those people must have a maid or get meals delivered in. There is just too much going on in life to do all of those things and still get sleep. Maybe you agree?
Well as someone with a full time job, an almost hour commute and a ton of out of work responsibilities I can tell you right now that creating healthy habits is not something that you can do overnight. After all, habits are by definition something that we practice over and over again that eventually we no longer think about (that’s my abridged version). Some other synonyms for habits are customs, routines, pattern, norm, and tradition.
Creating Healthy Habits
When you see the definition of habit you will see that it’s something that takes time to build, and we are all going to go about creating habits in our own ways. What I have found to be true though is that all habits, no matter how life changing, are usually easier to keep if we start small. Break down habits into more bite sized pieces. Why is this important? Well lets just look back about 8 months shall we?
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What was your New Year’s Resolution. How close are you to achieving those goals? What made you successful? What made those goals too difficult to achieve? I am guessing if you have been successful in achieving your goals (good for you!) you knew you’d have to create new habits in order to achieve them. If you weren’t successful, that’s ok. The year isn’t over yet. And you still have time to start creating new habits so that by the time we ring in 2016, you are already on your way to reaching those new goals.
Let’s talk about bite sized steps for a moment. When I have a client sign up for personal training. One of the first questions I ask them is about their current habits. Do you exercise? What form of exercise do you do? Do you eat breakfast? Do you make your own lunch? Things like that.
Why do I ask these questions? Small habits = big goals.
Big goals aren’t easily achieved if you are constantly freaking out over the big picture. That’s why it’s so much easier to make small tweaks to your routine when you already have habits in place.
How overwhelmed would you be if you answered no to all the above questions and I gave you a laundry list of things you needed to do? “From now on, eat breakfast, pack your own lunch, work out 2-3 times a week. Oh and do lots of burpees, don’t eat sugar, or white flour.”
But we do this all the time don’t we? We bite off more than we can chew and instead of taking small steps we say: “Starting Monday, I’m going to start eating healthy, exercising, and no more sugar, flour, and only veggies”. By the middle of day two we’re in a hunger rage for food and ready to go Xena Warrior Princess on the next person that walks by.
Build Your Habits & Make New Routines
Instead I would implore you to take a better approach. Build habits. Take that big goal and break it into baby steps. For the first few weeks, just make it your goal to eat breakfast. Maybe start looking online for some healthy lunch recipes. Once you’ve conquered breakfast, then maybe you make lunch 2 times a week, allowing yourself flexibility and knowing that there will be days when you just don’t get around to it.
After awhile, all these new changes will be old habits. Then maybe you start that exercise routine with a walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes. You have to admit, this is much easier to handle! If you follow these steps, you may just find yourself 2-3 months down the road doing all those things I described at the beginning of this post. And better yet, you won’t even think about them, it will in fact be your routine. And with this new routine, healthy and wellness are sure to follow!
We do love our routines, so make em healthy ones!! If you are thinking about creating healthy habits, check out the clean eating grocery guide or check out the Beginner’s Guide for Clean Eating.