We start out the New Year with hopes of better health and fitness. Maybe you plan on going to the gym or eating healthier. But with January comes the cold weather, the thought of sitting on the couch, being warmed by hot cocoa with marshmallows….wait, what was I talking about? Oh, right! Health, fitness, and motivation! Many of us fall into a trap. And that trap is in your own mind. As we all know, the mind is our worst enemy. So, how do we overcome the obstacles?
Habit Based Coaching: Most of the things we do are out of habit. This includes exercise and healthy eating. It also includes laying on the couch binge watching Netflix and eating chips out of the bag. We have to listen to our body’s cues and react the correct way. For instance, you feel hunger. This is your cue to eat. Here is where you stop and think. Continue with the old unhealthy habit (that isn’t getting me anywhere), or do I create a new, healthy habit? Next comes the reward from the habit that you are either sticking with or creating. The reward isn't always a good thing. For instance, If you stick with the unhealthy food, you probably felt pretty good at first. But as time goes on, you might start to think, “Why did I eat that?!?! It was delicious, but it isn’t going to help me at all in the long run!” If you chose to create healthy habits, you will most likely be feeling a whole lot better about your decision, plus in the long run, it will create a healthier you.
It looks kind of like this:
Cue--->Habit (think: keep old habit or starting new habit)--->reward (good or bad)
Finding the WHY and setting goals: Why have you decided to become healthier? What are you hoping to achieve for yourself? It could be to be able to fit in your old jeans. It could be so you can run around with your kids outside all summer without getting tired. It could be to lower your blood pressure. Whatever your reason, don’t lose sight of that! I tell all of my clients to make a long term SMART goal. They need to write it down and post it somewhere they will see it daily. Then every week, they are to make a smaller goal that they can work on that week that will help them to meet that long term goal.
Support: Having a support system is important when staying motivated to create healthy habits. Here are some ideas: Facebook has many support groups that you can join. Or make your own group with you and your like minded friends. Spend time with people who are going to support you in your endeavor, as opposed to those who will try to get you to break the habits you are trying to create. Ask your family to create healthier habits with you. Find someone that knows your goals for yourself that can help you be accountable.
Self Efficacy- Lastly, find your self efficacy! According to the American Psychological Association, “Self-efficacy refers to an individual's belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments” (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997). Believe in yourself! Our bodies are amazing, and there is nothing you can’t do with motivation and self-efficacy on your side.
Star Fitness blogs are written by personal trainer and nutrition specialist, Haley Thiele.
@starfitnessgrimes, Follow me on Facebook!
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