Life Coaching Blog How to Change a Habit
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~Jim Rohn
How to change a habit.
Our lives are largely made up of habits. Those habits either help us feel healthy, strong and engaged, or they help us feel tired, overweight and unwell. Studies show that we can indeed change our habits, but it does take some attention and effort.
First, think in the context of the bigger picture – What is your vision (link to “having clear vision” August 2014). Once you have your vision and motivation, consider what daily actions would help you to get there. Start by choosing 3 daily habits, and make them small habits that feel do-able. Once you get some traction, you can begin to tackle the ‘bigger’ habits.
There are two main ways to get these habits in place.
1) Change the habit: Want to quit drinking soda? Substitute sparkling water with a squeeze of lime. Mindlessly munching when you get home? Put a big sign on the fridge that says – “go for a 10 minute walk”. The idea here is that you are substituting a desirable habit (ie, a goal that takes you toward your vision) in place of a habit that doesn’t.
2) Start a new habit: If there’s a new habit you want to start- perhaps taking a walk at lunch, think of ways to attach that habit on to something you already do. Maybe you wash your hands, from there, start walking, even if it’s just 15 minutes, you’ll get fresh air, your mind will re-set, and you’ll be energized for your afternoon. Connect the two habits, and you’ll be much more likely to follow through.
Continue with those 3 habits until they are like second nature, then you look at tackling more habits.
Healthy Habits for weight loss:
- Drink lots of water – thirst is often confused with hunger. General rule of thumb- take your body weight and divide in half – drink that much water in ounces (150 pound person would drink 75 ounces of water).
- Use smaller dishes. Trick your brain into thinking it’s getting more.
- Taste your food. Eat slowly and put your fork down between bites. If you’re eating in front of the tv or computer, you’re not tasting your food. Slow down and enjoy it!
- Stop eating after dinner. Hang up the CLOSED sign in the kitchen. Going to sleep when full keeps your body from doing the repair it needs to do at night.
- Eat your Greens. Get those greens in, throw them in smoothies, add more to salads, stir it into your eggs, or use them in place of bread for your ‘sandwich’.
Best Moves for on-the-go fitness:
Try these body weight moves when you take a break at work, or add them to your walk. Start with 20 seconds hold, and add more time as you get stronger. and BREATHE
- Plank: make your body parallel to the ground with your wrists under your shoulders and your two turned under. Lift belly button to your spine, front of legs toward the sky, and imagine there are flames shooting out of the top of your head and your heels in opposite directions.
- Wall squat. Stand with back against the wall, slide down so your thighs are close to parallel to the ground, heels under your knees, shoulders relaxed. Draw your belly button to your spine and press your lower back into the wall.
- Push ups: hands slightly wider than shoulders, slowly lower and press back up. If you struggle doing these on the ground, or want to be discreet at your desk, put your hands on your desk and push-up from there.
Bonus: Stretch: sitting in a chair, cross one ankle(flexed) over the opposite knee and gently lean forward with a straight back. This is a great stretch if you sit a lot.