HOW TO START
Last week I promised to show you a framework for ‘how to start a habit-based approach’ to health.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
The BIGGEST mistake people make is unknowingly setting themselves up for FAILURE. They need to do “this, this, and this”, for it to be a successful day … each task of which is a tough achievement by itself! And by grouping them together into 1 goal, it becomes near impossible to complete day-in-day-out, resulting in loss of ACTION, demotivation, and regressing from the positive mindset you had in the first place for change.
Instead, BREAK. IT. DOWN. & SLOW. IT. DOWN.
Start small and simple and get the momentum rolling in the right direction. Choose ONE task aligned with your goal, make sure it’s something which is achievable – the equivalent of a 9 or more / 10, anything less…MAKE IT EASIER.
This may seem so simple, but you’ll find even the simplest of tasks challenging if you’re trying to do it consistently – and consistency is the MOST important factor for change.
Each habit you attempt should be almost ‘too’ easy. Hitting this simple habit again and again does A LOT psychologically for your confidence, and you’ll also find you’ll want to do more after achieving it over and over again.
the MAIN PRINCIPLES for setting up your habit-based approach:
1. Chose ONE TASK / goal / behaviour aligned with your overall goal. Write it down and get specific.
2. Make sure it’s a 9/10 ACHIEVABLE.
3. Make sure it’s MEASURABLE. It should be definitive whether or not you achieved the goal each day e.g. hitting 10,000 steps on your activity tracker / phone.
4. Stick with it for AT LEAST 2 WEEKS
5. Stay POSITIVE! Expect setbacks, we are NOT perfect, pre-plan how you’re going to react and get back on track after a setback.
6. Be ACCOUNTABLE to someone, publicly via your social media, or if you’d rather, a printed sheet with your end goal in mind and a minimum 14-day (to a month) ‘check-in’ chart.
7. Set yourself a TRIGGER, something you’ll do just before the habit. This can be incredibly powerful and I’d recommend it. It can be anything to get you in ‘state’ for whatever you’re about to do for your habit. E.g. A movement, a song, breathing etc.
Aim for 80% plus consistency BEFORE looking to progress with the habit or incorporating something different. If you found it too challenging to stick with for 2 weeks, you know you may have set the bar to high.
At first MANY people do so you’re not alone! We set the largest expectations for ourselves. What you’ve done is not a failure, in fact, it’s incredibly useful so that you can gauge where you need to be to succeed with the habit. Re-calibrate and try again for 2 weeks until you hit the 80% plus consistency.
So, instead of following a strict diet plan with a list of drastic lifestyle changes at once, try this…
Focus on LESS to ACHIEVE MORE.
Focusing on one thing at a time, and progressing will lead to greater change in 3 months and set you on the track for further progression, than sticking to your mainstream strict diet plan for 3 weeks and then derailing…only to try again a month later.
Don’t believe me?!
TRY IT YOURSELF.
TOMORROW, I’ll give you one of the primary habits from the 21-Day Challenge Programme. A simple and powerful habit to try for two weeks… see if you can stick to that. It’ll seem so easy you’ll think I’m crazy, but wait and see how tough something so simple can be when you goal is consistency.
I’ll mention ways which you can practice the habit, and choose the one most suited to you and your lifestyle… and let’s see how you do!
Stay Healthy and Happy,