I get asked this reasonably frequently and habits are absolutely key in us reaching our goals and sticking with them. Let me ask you a question: How many times have you lost weight, just to put it back on again? Or maybe you’ve done exercise programmes or group classes that have had you exercise at high frequencies and high intensities, but you’ve just ended up burning out and ending up back at square one?
This is because these things are basically fads. They are wanting us to do something for a short period of time. They want us to get in and get out. We don’t actually build habits that last and allow us to maintain our results.
I personally have gone through this myself. I’ve done this with different diets, with clean eating, with the Paleo diet, with bodybuilder style meal plans. And I’ve done it with exercise, I’ve exercised at really high intensities, I’ve done really high frequencies, I’ve sacrificed my entire social life in order to track all of my food, train twice a day and sleep all the time. Engineered my entire lifestyle around being an athlete. And these things don’t last.
But what does last is building habits. This isn’t a sexy thing to work on, this stuff takes time. However, building habits that last is going to help you have a better relationship with food, a better balance with fitness and it’s going to help you reach your goals and sustain them for the long term, as well as reach further goals.
So what are these kind of habits that we’re looking at and how do we build these habits? So, my favourite habits are:
- eating protein with each meal;
- walking 10,000 steps a day;
- eating when you’re hungry;
- eating slowly;
- sleeping seven to nine hours a night;
- moving daily;
- eating five to seven fruits and veggies a day;
- eating food that you enjoy.
Those are some of my favourite habits. But where do you start? You start with where you’re at! Okay, I know that that sounds really simple and really easy but this is what you want it to be, you need it to be easy so that you can do it. You need to have the confidence that you’re actually able to follow through with the habits that you’re setting yourself and you also need the knowledge in order to put it in place.
If you don’t believe that you can do it, or you don’t have the knowledge in order to do it, you’re not going to be able to follow through with it for very long. It’s not going to be something that’s going to provide you with long-lasting change. So start with where you’re at. Start slowly, start easily and think: how can you be just 1% better? Then work from there.
It doesn’t matter how long this takes as long as you get there. So in terms of building these habits that last for long term health, have a think now about where you are in relation to those habits that I’ve listed above, then have a think about what it is that you can do today in order to move one step closer to those goals.
Have a think about what it is you’re trying to achieve, why that matters so much to you, and have a think about how you can balance the different priorities in your life around building those habits. So that you can start edging your way closer to being leaner and healthier. Understand that this is going to take time and that’s okay because that way you’ll be able to maintain the results when you get there. It won’t be just another quick fix.
Thank you for reading today’s blog guys, I hope that you enjoyed it and if you did, I would love to know your thoughts. You can reach me on @jonnylandels on Instagram, Facebook is @NextStepPerformance1.