You’ve probably heard is takes 21 days to build a habit. However, more recent studies suggest that it could take up to 66 days based on your ability, motivation, and external environment. But don’t get discouraged! Even though habits aren’t formed overnight, I can assure you that over time with patience and consistency, you can develop the habits you need to create a lifestyle that works for you and helps you crush your goals!
1 – Start simple, start small – you don’t need to change everything at once. I know you’re ambitious and hardworking, but this is one area where you don’t want to necessarily hit the ground running and overwhelm yourself. If you attempt to change too many things at once, that could lead to burn out and actually cause you to get discouraged. It’s better to start off by mastering 1-2 habits at a time and then moving on from there
The best place to start is with implementing habits that help you eat better like adding a green veggie to your dinner each day, taking lunch and snacks to work, including a lean protein with each meal, looking up restaurant menus online beforehand so you arrive at the restaurant with a game plan, or choosing sparking water over soda
2 – Environment is key – the environment that you have the most control over is your home. To make your environment work for you, have healthier options readily available. Pre-cut your produce so you can quickly grab it for a snack or add as a side dish to your dinner. Leave a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter as a reminder to grab a piece if you need a snack. If you’re storing your produce in the fridge, keep it at eye level so that you’re more likely to reach for that first
Keep trigger foods out of the home or in hard to reach places. If you live with someone, tell them about your goals, why they are important to you, and ask them if they can hold you accountable
3 – Be kind to yourself – How would you speak to a friend who slipped up? Would you scold them for the choices they made? Or would you encourage them to stay in the game? Don’t beat yourself up. You formed these habits long ago, so it will take time to change them. Remember that repetition builds mastery. Habits are formed when you work towards them daily
4 – Be proud of yourself every step of the way – don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal weight to celebrate. Celebrate those small wins and non-scale victories, along the way. When you learn to celebrate more often, this will keep you more motivated in the long run. Don’t just focus on the end goal, but also find ways to enjoy the process to reaching the goal
5 – Get accountability – I touched on this a little in step 2! Accountability could come from a family member, close friend, co-worker, a workout buddy, online fitness community, or a coach. When we tell someone else about our goals, we are more likely to stick to them because most of us do not want to disappoint other people. When we commit to just ourselves, it’s easy to brush off what we should be doing. But when we add that extra layer of support, we are more likely to succeed!
If you’re looking for accountability, you can join my Facebook Group! Or if you’re looking for 1:1 support from a health coach, I am accepting personal coaching clients. You can click here to learn more about how I can support you!
6 – Find an activity that makes you happier – physical activity is important, but you don’t have to follow an exercise regimen you don’t enjoy. Find various ways to get active that you like! This could be running, kickboxing, CrossFit, Yoga, boot camp, dance fitness, etc. The key is to find what you like so that you look forward to actually doing it
7 – Manage your stress – when we are less stressed, we are more energetic and we are also more likely to eat better. High levels of stress could lead to emotional eating, which isn’t the most productive way to handle stress. Stress is unavoidable. So what we can control is how we respond to it. Write out a few tools you can use the next time you are tempted to eat to soothe your feelings. This could be deep breathing, journaling, going for a walk, calling a family member or friend, painting your nails, reading, an adult coloring book, watching a movie or YouTube video, or sometimes you simply need to give yourself permission to rest
Sometimes what keeps us from moving forward is not even knowing where to start. But I am confident that as you start implementing these habits, you will be well on your way to not just losing weight, but strengthening your mindset and developing a healthier relationship with food!
Yours in wellness,
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