When it comes to making your health and fitness objectives a reality, you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed.
To achieve any goal, you must be willing to change your ways. Asking oneself to change habits or behaviors that you have cultivated over the course of your life, whether intentionally or subconsciously via repetition, is a difficult task to do.
In order to assist people in improving their health and fitness, health professionals and researchers have been attempting to unravel the mystery of behavior change for decades. They have discovered several methods of behavior change that you can use to take small, manageable steps that will lead you to success.
A typical misperception about behavior change is that the process would be arduous, but that the effects will be noticeable right away. True success is achieved by making tiny, manageable changes over a lengthy period of time in order to establish good habits that will remain for life.
To acquire healthy behaviors such as eating well, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and managing stress, you must be patient and do everything you can to make it enjoyable.
Personal trainers, health coaches, and other exercise professionals who work with the American Council on Exercise have spent years researching the most up-to-date behavior-change research to ensure that the techniques they use are the most appropriate for today’s society. You may apply these strategies in your own life to begin making little but significant strides toward greater health and fitness right away.
Three Simple Steps to Changing Your Habits
1. Positive Psychology
As the researchers says, positive psychology is the scientific study of positive subjective experiences such as well-being, contentment, and satisfaction in the past; hope and optimism in the future; and flow and happiness in the present. Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, this behavior-change strategy encourages you to focus on your strengths.
Rather than trying to fix what’s wrong with you, look for ways to establish a strengths-based, forward-thinking, and supportive atmosphere that can help you go on a meaningful behavior change path. This strategy is heavily influenced by mentality, which is an important aspect of any behavior-change program. Because your brain and body are inextricably linked, practicing mental training is as crucial as moving your body physically.
Start a thankfulness journal and see how far you can get. Gratitude journaling, which is simply appreciating what you have, is quite probably one of the most effective types of positive psychology.
Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen in the morning, before you pick up your phone or turn on the news, and write down three things you are grateful for. It might be anything from fresh air to a sunny day to the cup of coffee you’re drinking right now. You may perhaps go for a peaceful walk in the woods, pausing to soak in the views and sounds.
2. Self-Determination Theory
Self-determination theory is a theory that explains how people make decisions for themselves. This strategy, also known as the philosophy of human motivation, focuses on your ability to grow and connect as a person. Community can be the most potent tool for changing your health and fitness habits. The foundations of this idea are competence (feeling like you did a good job), autonomy (owning your changes), and relatedness (community power and connecting with others).
Here’s an example: Make a friend with whom you can work out. Join a walking club or enlist the help of a family member or friend to increase your physical activity on this quest for constructive change. Examine how having someone else hold you accountable boosts your motivation and resolve.
3. SMART Objectives
These are objectives that are specific and measurable.
It’s crucial to have a goal, but making sure it’s a SMART goal—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound—has been found to increase success.
Here’s an example: Make a goal that is SMART. Consider participating in a walking event if you want to become a faster, fitter walker, for example. This objective is:
- specific – how many miles you’ll walk
- reachable – start with a reasonable mileage based on your current fitness level
- relevant – most people enjoy walking, and training for this event will help you achieve your goal
- time-bound – the event will help you achieve your goal; the date of the event gives you a set target to aim for when training.
This method can be applied to a variety of objectives, including weight loss, strength gains, and diet improvements. The trick is to make sure that your objective encompasses all of the aspects of a SMART goal so that you end up with a concrete strategy rather than a hazy vision of how to get there.
It takes time and effort to alter. Don’t discount the importance of having a positive mindset, be curious about the process, and enjoy your journey.