I would like to start by saying we've all been there at some stage in our fitness journey. Always wondering when it would be best to start a new routine. We set off with good intentions but as soon as something comes up and blocks you from doing your gym session, that's it we stop and quit. My aim in this article is to help you build routine building habits for you to continue on your quest to health and fitness success and all it takes is to change one thing at a time.
Do you remember the last time you decided to make a change to your lifestyle? I'm sure your list went a little something like this: You wanted to eat healthier food, exercise more, get more sleep, drink more water etc etc. I also bet that you tried to do all this at the same time, most likely on a Monday.
Monday is the universal day that everyone decides that they are going to make a "change". The problem is that a lot of people don't think about the bigger picture. You are very much spinning several plates at the same time and before we know it one of the plates will come crashing down and the rest will follow suit even quicker. Here is how to stop plate spinning and start routine building.
5 Routine Building Habits To Try Today
1. Change One Thing At A Time.
Going all in making several changes to your lifestyle over night just isn't going to work. It doesn't make you a badass because plain and simply you just wont get results. It's like with anything valuable in life, change takes time. When wanting to commit to lifestyle change the methods you use must work for you, your lifestyle, your family and most importantly it must be sustainable. Why be great for 3 months when you can be good for life?
For a lasting change in your life you must take steps to ultimately change your environment and schedule. If you want to stop snacking then stop buying snacks (no willpower needed). If you want to make one change to eat healthier foods why not make a big batch of food on the Sunday. This will then be your lunches for the week. You will have a very similar lunch every day of the week, you'll know the calorie content, along with your macro-nutrient content, this is a great start to building a healthy eating habit. Embrace the power of routine to get the necessary done each day.
My point, is that you should be focusing on changing one area at a time. It doesn't matter how small it is, heck it could be as boring as drinking more water in a day. The positive effect of this however, will be significant. Stick with and choose your one thing and it will soon become a healthy habit. If you are willing to do that then everything else will happen naturally. All you need to do is make sure you are ready to do it because no one else will.
2. The 3-a-Day Notepad
There are many reason why writing down your most important tasks the night before is a good idea. For starters, this type of planning will help you stay on track with your goals. It will give you a clear focus on what you need to achieve by the end of the following day. Another great reason to do this the night before is that it will actually help you sleep at night. You won't lie in your bed thinking about what you have to do the following day. This is one of the biggest things I have implemented in my life recently and what a difference it has made to my productivity levels. Writing down tasks, chores or must do's it will get you up in the morning with intent and purpose.
Keep your list to no more than three tasks. How many times have you jotted down a to-do list the length of your arm only to find by the end of the day you have only accomplished a couple items on the list. It's pretty demoralising and this is not good to your habit building goals. By limiting your list to only three priorities will actually increase your motivation, once you complete them you will feel a sense of achievement. Give it a go.
If you have more than three priorities, then you don't have any. - Jim Collins
3. Add A Little More Activity To Your Day
Now, I didn't say exercise on purpose. Exercises will be the end goal so lets look at how to start exercising. By being more active you you will actually start to feel better. After all the, the body is designed to move not sit. There is a term that gets thrown around in the fitness industry and it is NEAT, which stands for Non Exercises Activity Thermogenesis. Basically, what this means is move more. NEAT is all the energy expanded for everything that we do that is not sleeping, eating or participating in sports like activity's. A couple of easy suggestions would be to:
By becoming more active you are building a up a good habit, the body will crave the feeling of those endorphin's being released. The more you do the more you will crave that awesome feeling and in turn will lead you to becoming even more active, i.e. regular exercises. Start small aim big.
4. Create A Timetable
Assess you energy levels, when are you the best at X.
Most people have more energy and creative thinking space in the morning. As the day goes on, we tire and our thoughts are looking towards the end of the day. Get you gym session ticked off when you feel you have the most amount of energy. If you can only go to the gym after work, treat your session as a stress relief or even better bring a friend with you. This helps make you make yourself more accountable as you don't want to let your friend down and therefore you are less likely to skip the session. After all you enjoy each others company and it's a perfect opportunity to catch up with each other.
By creating a timetable you are able to book yourself in to your own life. For example, lets say you want to workout three days a week, pick your days and times put it in your timetable and leave it. treat it like an appointment with a doctor. You wouldn't cancel on them so why cancel on yourself. Hey, after all you may not need to go to the doctors at all if you exercises more. Food for thought.
5. Write Down Your Goals
Goal setting is a major part of our life, whether it is work related, family related or fitness related but when was the last time you actually wrote them down?
I am a huge Blieber....I mean believer of writing your goals down. Every consultation I have with clients i get them to give me their goals accompanied with a why. This boosts their chances of achieving it. Every 3 months or so, We re-evaluate the goals and make bigger and better ones.
A pretty cool study was done by some brain kids at Harvard University around goal setting. The students were asked if they had any clear set written goals for their futures and how they would go about achieving them. The outcome was frightening.
The 13% group above earned twice the much as the than the 84% group
The 3% group earned 10 times more than the other 97% of the class combined.
The point of all this is is to show those of us who don't write down our goals and carve out a path to pursue them we are less likely to achieve them. Now although this was a monetary goal the same applies to our fitness. Another key point to take away from this is that the above study was completed over 10 years, not over 3 months like most people think they will achieve their fitness goals.
Breaking your goal down not only helps you stay focussed it prevents you from feeling overwhelmed. For example lets take Tony, Tony wants to run a marathon and lose by the end of the year that's 8 months from now. If Tony adopts the SMART principle:
Keen to learn more about fitness? Learn more with people just like you in my friendly Facebook group.
For more fat loss advice, download my top 23 fat loss tips
Help a Friend
Know anyone who needs this in their life? Share the love!
Calumn - Personal Training In Edinburgh
My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be apart of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.