Effectively Establishing New Habits

Julie Louro

When it comes to nutrition and fitness, creating lasting behavioral changes can seem extremely daunting. One of the pitfalls I see regularly is the overly-aggressive approach . You know what (and who) I am talking about; the “all or nothing” person who either eats a pizza, a burger, fries, and four beers for dinner, OR they go on a 37 day juice cleanse and eat grass. As you can imagine, these two extremes make things more difficult when attempting to develop long-term, sustainable changes to your health.

The key, in my opinion, is gradual progression towards a specific outcome to achieve maximum sustainability. Say you’ve gone through an extended period of time when you weren’t able to keep a consistent exercise routine (like when your gym was shut down for 3 months because of a global pandemic) and you want to start exercising again. Instead of immediately jumping into a 5 day per week program, with five different opportunities to “fail,” set yourself up so you can succeed! Start with two workouts per week, an attainable frequency with a high success rate. Then add a day per week after you’ve consistently hit that two times/week frequency. In other words, set yourself up with accessible goals and high success rates, and build off of those wins.

Another effective strategy is implementing reverse engineering. Think about a goal you have and start backwards. What does the end result look like? Then ask yourself, what do you need to do this month, this week, and today, to achieve that goal. Let’s say you want to lose 30 lbs. by this time next year. At first glance that can seem overwhelming. But let’s break it down a bit; 30 lbs. in a year is 2.5 lbs. per month or a little over a half a pound per week. This view makes the task seem much less daunting and much more manageable then focusing all your attention on 30 lbs.

At the end of the day we are all creatures of habit. Changing habits takes time and certainly some discipline but If we break these larger goals down into smaller habits, with a high chance of success, you won’t have to rely so heavily on motivation and will power.

book your intro session today

Schedule a meet and greet, and facility tour, with the trainer of your choice.