290118 Changing your physical activity habits
Here we are, into the New Year and already many people have broken at least one New Year’s resolution. Are you one of them? If so, now could be the perfect time to step back and reevaluate why you’ve fallen off the wagon and are about to end up under the wheels.
New Year’s resolutions most often involve changing habits and that takes time. Your old habits won’t change in a flash. They weren’t developed that quickly and won’t go away that fast either.
Here are a few suggestions that may help you successfully succeed in achieving this year’s resolutions. They involve creating new habits to replace the old ones that are not working for you.
- Use your resolutions as your goal list. It is already written down or should be. Take this readymade list and divide it up into long term, intermediate and short term relatively easy to achieve goals. Tell others about them and begin developing your support group to help your reach each one.
- Change takes time and if you try to change everything at once then nothing will change. Go slowly in making these changes.
- Pick out the smallest and easiest habit you want to get rid of.
- These changes will take upwards of three to four months to complete. Develop and secure one small success at a time and then move onto the next one on your list.
- Since you have decided, or at least considered deciding, to begin with the smallest change on your list let me give you an example of a small something that you can do immediately. Grab a pen and paper and write down what you most recently ate or drank. Do this for a week, you will be surprised at the stuff you are putting into your body.
- If you want to start exercising, start small. Ride or walk for five minutes every day. No excuses just get the time in. Soon these few minutes will become easier to do and you will want to increase the time spent doing them. These minutes, short as they are, are the future building blocks toward more physical activity.
- If you expect these habit changes to be a walk in the park you are setting yourself up for failure. Life brings with it setbacks. How you handle them will ultimately determine your success or failure at making these habit changes permanent.
- If you didn’t reach a goal, reset it and go at it again. Don’t give up. The world is full of quitters, figure out where and why you didn’t meet the goal, readjust and move on. You can’t change the past, it’s over but you can change your future. Don’t waste time looking back; instead, keep focused on the goal.
- If today is not changed then tomorrow will not be any different.