In this crazy busy world we tend to over complicate, over think and over stress. Our daily life obligations sometimes feels like enough to get through, without thinking about meal planning, eating right and fitting activity in!
I totally get it! I’ve been there too. But I’m here to tell you today that building healthy habits doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact it’s actually really simple, you only need 3 things.
Seriously, only 3 things to start building a healthy habit and they are 3 things that you can start doing easily, today!
I’ve spent years reviewing research, reading books from the experts, listening to podcasts about the latest studies and of course working directly with clients to see what works and what doesn’t.
Most importantly, I’m a Registered Dietitian, and by definition we are evidence based practitioners held to a high standard. This means, whatever I share with you is 100% back up by science. Cold hard facts of what works and what doesn’t. A major reason that when it comes to your health, trust an expert!
But enough about that.. We’re here to talk habits! Habits are the backbone of living a healthy lifestyle. Everything we do for the most part is what we’ve trained ourselves to do over time. With enough repetition and positive reinforcement, every action we take automatically was developed by you, even if you didn’t realized it was happening.
The good news? We have FULL control over these actions. It takes some focus and some time but you have control over your behaviors, including the ones you don’t even think about.
So here are the three things you ABSOLUTELY need to do to create a habit.
1. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. The first thing you absolutely need to do is take responsibility and truly believe that you have control over the actions you take and the decisions you make. As human beings we are advanced enough to be able to control EVERYTHING WE DO. From our thoughts, to how we feel, to what actions we take. Have you ever heard the saying “you can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you react” ? Well there’s scientific evidence to that. So step one, you must believe you are the one in the driver’s seat.
2. REPETITION. The second thing you absolutely need in order to develop a habit is repetition. Any time you take a new action you’re literally making a new connection between neurons in your brain. Which is why it’s more challenging in the beginning, it’s always harder to initiate that connection. So the first time you choose an apple over chips for a mid afternoon snack it’s going to take focus and determination. Studies show that after just the third time of grabbing that apple over the chips it becomes easier. Now the neuron path is formed and the signals and really the decision can flow easier. Kinda cool right? Just push past the first 3 times, make that your goal!
3. REINFORCEMENT. The third thing you absolutely need is reinforcement or a "reward." This can be as simple as saying to yourself after you eat the apple "wow I feel good about that, I'm proud of myself." In that moment you're releasing some feel good hormones. What does that do? It reinforces that the action you took was a good one ! The next time you have the choice between the apple and chips think about how either decision would make you feel. If you build a positive correlation with choosing the apple, its going to make the decision much easier next time because your brain wants those feel good hormones again! Now you might be saying to yourself "hey Amanda, I feel pretty damn good eating those chips too, they're delicious!" And you know what. You're right! Fat, sugar and salt also releases feel good hormones, but in a very different way. Eating "junk" will give you a short term burst which fades quickly and leaves you ultimately feeling negative. The apple gives you a burst but stays with you long term. So then the question you ask yourself, what's better short term feel good or long term feel good ?
So there you have it the 3 things you MUST have in order to build a healthy habit.
Building healthy habits can be difficult on your own, if you feel like you've tried but can't stick with it you likely would benefit from personal support and guidance.
Take the next step and book a online consultation with me. I promise one thing you'll never regret is taking action towards a healthy and happy lifestyle! I can't wait to meet with you :) I also love referrals so if you know of anyone that might be interested I'd love to meet them!
BOOK A TIME!