A lot of our daily routines are dictated by habits. These can range from checking your phone, to drinking a morning cup of coffee, to eating a chocolate biscuit with your tea. Habits are not inherently good or bad: they are learned behaviours, which our brain settles into repeating on a cycle. It takes an average of 66 days for a behaviour to become an automatic habit. Sometimes our habits may have adverse effects on our physical and mental health: for instance, eating too much sugar can lead to diabetes, dental problems and dips in energy; and sleeping for too long can lead to joint problems, as well as a deeper sense of fatigue. Creating new habits takes perseverance and hard work. Here are 5 ways you can move towards the new healthier you, and unlock your true potential.
Track and record the behaviours you wish to change
If you are experiencing the same patterns again and again, the first step is to become aware of them. This does not mean you should beat yourself up or consider yourself a failure for having these habits, but rather track what’s going on. You may begin to see a pattern emerge, and gradually become aware of the circumstances leading you towards the habits you want to change. For example, do you overeat when you are sad? Do you procrastinate when you have a lot of stress on your mind? Simply noting down when you have engaged in your habit, or telling your support team, will draw your awareness to it more. Our 30 Day Challenge actually has a section where you can log your progress, input your wins of the day, and the things you learned.
Work out why you might engage in these habits at these times
If you begin to spot a pattern emerging, for instance, that you are reaching for that 5th coffee of the day at the same time, you can start to think about why. Perhaps making a coffee has become your excuse to get up from your desk, and what you really want is a small walk. Perhaps you are just bored. Throwing out all the coffee will prevent you from engaging in that habit, but it will not address the route of the issue. Once you have addressed the reason why, you can start to think about the next step.
Replace the habit
If your need for afternoon caffeine can be attributed to a need to move, you can start to schedule in a 3pm quick workout. Instead of reaching for the instant, with shaky hands and bloodshot eyes, unroll your yoga mat, blast out some music and do a quick HIIT home workout. Rather than telling yourself “I will not have that late afternoon coffee”, you are replacing it with a positive alternative that will make you feel good.
Transforming your life is difficult. It won’t happen overnight: you need to start off with goals that are easy to attain. This is important because meeting goals triggers the reward centre in your brain, making you feel good. If you give yourself that winning feeling, you will feel more of an incentive to continue. We can help you track your progress, at a pace decided by you, in our 30 Day Challenge.
Focus on the wins, not the FOMO
Sometimes when you break less favourable habits, there will be a sense of loss. Even though doing your home workout makes you feel better than too much coffee, you might still feel as though you are missing out on the coffee. This may be because of what your friends do and what you see advertised and shown in the media. If you focus your energy on how great working out in the afternoon makes you feel, instead of the fact that your peers may be making themselves a coffee, and keep remembering why you have chosen to work out instead of drink coffee, you will find it easier to keep these habits.
We wish you the best of luck in maintaining your new healthy lifestyle with your new-found habits, and look forward to seeing you thrive in our challenge! It is free to sign up for the challenge and we give you tonnes of advice, positive affirmations, recipe ideas, workouts plus a community of like-minded people, all working towards unlocking their full potential. Remember: You can sign up here.
P.S you are doing amazing, we believe in you ❤️