All of us dream of a life where we are more healthy and productive: We wake up earlier, we eat healthier, we work out more frequently and get more things done through the day without suffering from any chronic pains or poor health conditions. But few of you actually live it.
You do what you can to make that vision a reality: you follow diets, you embrace exercise plans, but after a short period of time you find yourself falling back into the exact same negative routines.
Change is difficult, and no matter how much you hate to admit it, you enjoy the comfort those old habits give you; you love how they don’t require any attempts or energy. But after the guilt comes in. You start feeling ashamed of the bad decisions you made. You lose hope and maybe you even try to convince yourself that it is too late for you and that you are simply not intended for the lifestyle you want. Old habits are hard to kill.
How to get over that? It all starts in your head. Rewiring your brain to shift the attention from hating the negative patterns to developing new healthy ones is the greatest way to drastic change. To have a healthy lifestyle, you must first develop the right mindset for it.
Luckily, we assembled for you now 4 strategies that are guaranteed to teach you exactly how to master your mindset and create a change that lasts forever.
1. Slow, but steady. Just. Get. Started. The effect of taking baby steps will compound and make you take larger ones. Be disciplined and stay determined. Do not wait for motivation to knock at your door. Do it anyways, even on the days you don’t feel like it. And what’s one of the best ways to get moving? That is by following The 5 Second Rule:
” If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the thought (… ) Because when you move, your brain begins to build new habits (… ) You are in the act of constructing new customs and erasing existing ones.”
This rule, stated by the author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins, is a form of metacognition that allows you conquer the tricks your mind plays to distract you, by turning on your prefrontal cortex. The neuroscientist and researcher at Yale University Amy Arnsten clarifies that the 5-4-3-2-1-Go! Countdown activates that brain region accountable for decision-making and planning. It matters also that you set goals for yourself on the long term. These goals will help you create sustainable habits.
2. Habits are formed via a very simple, yet very strong chain of activities Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg calls: The Loop. In his book The Power Of Habit, he states:
Then there is the routine, which may be physical or psychological or psychological. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your mind figure out if this specific loop is well worth remembering for the future. With time, this loop becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a strong sense of craving and anticipation emerges.”
This means that if you would like to change your habits, you need to follow the same principles that made them. First, start by identifying the negative habits you have. Identify the trigger behind them, the behaviour that follows along with the reward you feel. Then, try to implement a healthy behaviour to which you accord the same reward and trigger. Remind yourself more often of the reward and repeat this loop before the old habit is erased and the healthy one becomes ingrained in your routine. And be patient. Bear in mind that forming a new habit takes 66 days on average according to a study from University College (London, 2000).
3. Track Your Progress, No Matter How Small. Keep your eye on the progress you’re making. Use a calendar and mark the times you follow the nutritious habits, this trick won’t just inform you on the times you are making a progress, it will also motivate you not the break the chain. But in case you miss a day in which you don’t execute the healthy habit, don’t quit. Missing one day will have no impact on your long term results.
4. Enjoy The Procedure. All of us know that change is hard, but by rewarding yourself and observing each little victory, you’ll find yourself more likely to stick with the healthy behaviour. Acknowledge your achievements and find happiness from the healthy lifestyle you are now alive, for it is the greatest way to make it last forever. And remember, it is never too late to animal removal company the life you want!