Establishing Permanent Habits

We all have good intentions to be healthier, to eat better and exercise more, run a 5K, lose 10+ pounds or sign up for a bootcamp. But how do you actually turn those intentions into real day to day permanent habits that will help you reach your fitness goals? What are the steps you need to follow to put those thoughts into action?

Step #1 Assume Responsibility – Don’t skip this step, it will make this process and your life easier. YOU control your life, and you are IN control of it. It may not seem that way, but it’s so much easier to place blame on someone or anything else. Stop making excuses for your health, your weight, your skinny arms or your chronic condition caused by inactivity and poor choices. Excuses are simply a way of avoiding responsibility.

Step #2 Keep It Simple – First, identify those things you need to change, of those, which ones do you WANT to change? Are there items on the list that you have a burning desire to change? Focus on ONE of those, you will work harder to achieve something you WANT over something you NEED. Focus on the ONE, one at a time until you establish that habit, then move on to the next.

Step #3 Start Small – Start small and build. For example, if weight loss is your goal, start with 10 pounds. Want to spend more time in the gym? More time or any time, running? Start with 10-15 minutes a day or every other day. Once you make the shorter, mini-habits work, expand another 10-15 minutes and repeat.

Step #4 The 30-Day Challenge – You’ll often hear 21 days, but 30 days is more realistic. If eating better, cleaner or a sugar detox is your goal, stick with it for 30 days. Track that 30 days on a physical, paper calendar and post it where you see it daily. In this diet/nutrition example, eating cleaner and healthier requires eliminating fast food, junk food, etc. focus on the replacement foods and meals NOT the garbage you are eliminating. If you can replace those foods with healthy, natural foods for 30 days, you will be well on your way to following a healthy diet as a lifestyle.

Step #5 Write It Down – Write it down. Until you write your new habit, goal, resolution down, it is just a wish. Write it down and make a commitment. Post a copy next to your 30-day calendar.

Step #6 Develop Your Plan – Write down the reasons behind your choice. Write down the obstacles you face and the plan to get around them. Write down your support system and the end goal – what you will accomplish at the end of 30 days, then another 30 days beyond that.

Step #7 Take Action – Take action. Take real world steps with real life results. Take those action steps, today!