Human nature is wildly tempted by quick fixes. Who doesn’t want to make a ton of money easily, have raging business success in just a few short weeks or lose weight as easily as it came on? We all do, but the reality is that if we take shortcuts our results are likely to be short lived because we never learned how to become stewards of our success by side stepping the habits that actually create success.
Detoxes, boot camps, and bikini-ready-by -tomorrow programs often ask you to focus on a lot of radical change at once. Which is fine if you want to keep losing the same 15lbs over and over again. If you want to learn how to be your best kept self for life, however…that, my dear, will take time, buckets of practice and strategy.
While I can’t create the time for you or do the work for you, I can give you a bit of help in the strategy department: Choose ONE thing to focus on until it becomes your new normal.
“When people try to change a single behavior at a time, the likelihood that they’ll retain that habit for a year or more is better than 80 percent. When they try to tackle two behaviors at once, their chances of success are less than 35 percent. When they try for three behaviors or more, their success rate plummets to less than 5 percent.”
-John Berardi, Ph.D., Co-founder of Precision Nutrition
To create lasting habit change:
1. Choose 1 specific thing.
- I am going to drink 100 ounces of water/day.
- I am going to eat 6-8 cups of veggies a day.
- I am going to strength train 3 days a week for 45 min.
- I am going to go to bed by 9:30 at least 5 nights a week.
I know you want more than a 35% success rate, so whittle your list down to the easiest thing you could start doing that would propel you in the direction of progress. Then, ferociously commit to following through with that thing for the next 2-4 weeks.
2. Make a plan for how you will “do the thing”.
For example: Every morning I am going to fill up 4 water bottles carrying a total of 100 ounces of water. I will set my alarm for 4 hour intervals and when the alarm sounds I’ll make sure I have emptied the contents of at least 1 bottle.
3. Journal It.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure and what you think you did doesn’t always line up with what you actually did.
Journaling is a great source of accountability and in the age of technology there is no reason NOT to do it. There seems to be an app for everything but if you aren’t a fan of mobile technology, pen and paper work just fine too.
Take note of things like:
- How well did you follow through with your commitment?
- What are the positive changes you are noticing?
- How can you do better?
Once you start to see that you are following through consistently with less effort, you may be ready to add a new goal.
The simplest and most powerful way of changing your health (or anything else for that matter) is one stubborn habit at a time. As women it can be very difficult to lower our expectations to just one little habit, as we seem to be masters of multitasking, but if you do just commit to succeeding with one small step until it becomes just the way you live, you very well may never have to take time out to learn that habit again. And wouldn’t that be nice?