The majority of us are creatures of habits. Everything from brushing your teeth, wearing your favorite jacket, taking your shoes off in the same place, a place for your keys, buying the same snacks, fruit and food, doing the same exercises over and over again, thinking negative thoughts about yourself or others.
This blog post is just a few thoughts that I have to help you and others. As I wrote this blog it just starting flowing out of me. I met my future neighbors in person last week. We have only spoken on face book. She said “You’re going to be my inspiration to me!” I must say I enjoyed this comment as with all my training and zest for helping others find their groove in health and fitness I do hear this often. A dear friend years ago told me “you’re fiercely inspirational!”.
When looking through these items below just know that there are 6 stages of behavior change. Think about where you are and how you can get where you want to be.
Stop and ponder when is the last time you shook things up a bit?
Are all of your habits serving you well?
Are you mindlessly eating or not considering that your portion size is gonna keep those pounds on and further from your goal?
What about clothes shopping. Look in your closet. Do you make it easy for yourself to get dressed without wearing out your willpower for the day? Do you have too many clothes and pretty much the same repeat purchases that you don’t wear? I recently just reduced my 11 year old son’s wardrobe to make it easier for him to pair shirts and pants or shorts. He has ADHD and I swear that too many choices were wearing on his mood. He hated putting away all the clothes when clean so they ended up shoved in a drawer and wrinkled. We couldn’t let him leave the house like a big wrinkled mess. It’s been two weeks now and we are pleased with his wardrobe choices daily and with less frustration.
Let’s turn the attention to exercise now since personal training is my main gig. Do you just mindlessly go through the motions at the gym or home program? Do you do the same exercises more than 6 weeks in a row? Do you even have a program? Chances are much higher when you have a trainer, fitness coach, fitness buddy or you write it down in a journal and track your workouts. I’m not trying to add one more thing to you if you don’t currently track your workouts. What I am saying is that sometimes you have to shake it up a bit and go outside of your comfort level to made real and lasting changes.
Here are some examples of changes that might help you with forward progress:
Ditch the solid food breakfast (save calories and time washing dishes) ——Make a shake and hold the fruit
Working from home and haven’t planned your meals for the day? —–Make the night before and put in containers so you will eliminate the grazing and skip poor food choices.
Go to bed when you feel like it——Set a new bedtime to get 7-8 hours of sleep and stick to it
Go to your closet and get rid of the “fat” clothes —-This eliminates the reason to not stick to a healthy diet and exercise program consistently.
Print out a blank calendar and mark days for exercise and be specific (run, walk, kayak, swim, hike, golf, tennis, boxing, jump rope, cycle, canoe, pilates, yoga, weights). When completed put time next to it and give yourself a smiley face, check mark or star. What ever motivates you to keep going. It’s a great visual. Aim for being active 6 days a week and don’t afraid of doing more than one type of exercise per day. Just be sure and give yourself one full day of rest. Mediate and show yourself gratitude for your body and mind being able to complete your daily and weekly workouts.
Have you have found that when you are stressed or bored that you tend to take part in habits that you really want to change. This is the first step in being mindful also known as awareness. Being aware of what triggers you can help you to plan distractions ahead of time to change them and make them stick. Did you know that research has shown that it takes smokers an average of 7 times of quitting smoking to make it stick? Often times when smokers quit they turn to food since it’s an oral fixation, hand to mouth habit.
Get to know that thinking mind of yours and give it a good talking to or better yet ignore it and create a new story that is positive and yields positive habits.
If you tend to binge eat on chips, don’t buy them.
Need to cut back on caffeine? —- Try green tea or try Dandy Blend tea
Do you online shop when you need a quick shop of dopamine?
Whatever it is that you do to distract yourself, just know that YOU and YOU alone have the power to make the change. Your trainer or accountability coach can’t follow you around all day every day. It’s all those little successes that add up to big and happy success. Celebrate all your little victories and take steps to always improve yourself and lift up others around you.
Join and online support group where you can share your successes and get ideas from others. It can be a form of giving back and giving back makes you feel good.
Find Tonya online with live personal training/coaching or hire her to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included. Greenville, South Carolina site to be available this year in the town of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Stay tuned for more details as we are working on securing a location. Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 is no longer onsite for training, massage and nutrition coaching.
Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, LMT, TPI Level 1
Owner/Dir. of Training