We’ve heard it all before. You or someone close to you has broadcast proudly – “starting today I am going to be healthy!” I’ll drink less and I’ll read more. I’ll eat less, I’ll run more! Calorie counting apps are downloaded, blogs are scanned for recipes and lunchtime shopping trips to nutrition and sporting shops are made. “I’m quitting sugar, I’m quitting meat. I’m digitally detoxing!” Yeah cool, and you’re going do all of that this week?!
I truly believe that no matter what physical or mental state you are in, everyone is capable of living their best life – eating healthily, exercising, being mindful, or overcoming an addiction to sugar or smoking. Especially in 2020, where there is growing positive pressure on being ‘well’, and as life gets faster and faster, these pressures can transform good intentions into overzealous promises. Throw a bit of influencer marketing in the mix, and we’ve got an unnatural and unsustainable desire to be well immediately. But taking on so much at once can be overwhelming and demotivational. And when we lose our focus, or have a lapse in discipline – we tend to drop not one of our many goals, but all. At least, that is what was happening to me.
I’m going low and slow.
I’ve tried something recently. Actually, a number of small things, over a long period. The results have been small, and have taken a long time but they came with a bonus; habit forming behaviour. Numerous studies suggest that consistent, repeated behaviour is habit forming – the 21/90 rule or the 10,000 hours principle for example. But these only focus on one behaviour at a time. But what if I wanted to continue to stack new habits on top of each other as I went?
The first two weeks I focused on one thing only – prepping my meals for the work week. I wanted to absolutely nail that task before adding another – cycling to work again. Nailed that too and after 4 weeks, I had put two really good former habits back into my life with no signs of stopping. Come week 5, I thought I’d try and eliminate a bad behaviour – screens in bed. It took an adjustment but within two weeks I was reading a book before sleep instead. Finally I am now back at the gym, taking it slow while I am there, making sure not to do anything to cause me to postpone a visit.
I don’t really feel like playing spot the difference with a before and after shot. Truth is, that probably supports the former ‘get fit, fast’ mentality when I’m playing the long game instead. And if it goes according to plan, by this time next year I will have 26 new good habits in my life. That’s lifestyle change!
If you feel like you’ve had a go of changing your life for the better, and it hasn’t panned out how you’d like, then perhaps consider trying to change one small thing about yourself at a time.
Do you have a life changing story you want to share, like Darren’s incredible 100kg weightloss journey? We’d love to hear it! Get in touch with us on 03 9963 4804 today!
– Group Marketing Lead