If Your Habits Suck, Your Body Will Too!

Building a Bulletproof Foundation for Sustainable Success...

Let’s take that a step further.

If your lifestyle habits suck – that is:

IfYourHabitsSuck

…not only will your body probably suck, but your energy, vitality, health, and overall performance probably will too.

Your habits – the small things you do every day – form the essential foundation of your lifestyle.

And your lifestyle forms the foundation of your life.

What you get out = what you put in...

Making new lifestyle changes all comes from creating positive new habits.

Your daily habits make up the structure of your life, often without you even realising, and play a huge role in determining the quality and quantity of your life.

As expert personal trainers, we’ve worked with hundreds of clients who all wanted to change their lives for the better.

Not only their bodies, in terms of how they look and how strong they feel, but also their energy, overall sense of wellbeing, quality of life, and personal performance levels.

Helping our clients to get optimised and achieve success always involves our leveraging our expertise as coaches in implementing habit and lifestyle change.

Yep, in many ways it’s even more important than squats and deadlifts!

In this post we’ll give you our top 5 insights on new habit development, based on our years of success as personal trainers training thousands of clients.

You’ll learn key ways in which you can create new habits to make yourself become healthier and happier, so let’s get started…

1/ Focus on the small things that you can control

When looking to create new habits, the most important factor is that the habits you create are going to be sustainable in the long term.

There is no point setting routines that are unrealistic and unsustainable as the likelihood is you will fall off track and end up back at the same place you started.

It’s important to set habits that do not require high levels of motivation as in these early stages, it can be difficult to carry out new habits as this new behaviour is not natural.

Research shows it takes on average around 66 days for a behaviour to become a habit, in some cases even longer (over 200 days)!

This highlights the importance of being able to stick to the new habits you create in order for them to stick.

Building these new habits around small things that you have total control over is the best method for long lasting success.

For example getting up and making your bed as soon as you wake up are two very small actions but can set you up to be productive for the whole day.

2/ Make your habits enjoyable

When looking to improve your lifestyle, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that forming new habits has to be boring and unenjoyable.

However, this is not the case, it’s certainly possible to set habits that you enjoy.

Enjoying a new habit means you can do it more consistently, making it part of your routine, such as playing a sport you enjoy or taking a walk in nature.

Naturally some habits/ routines may not provide the instant gratification, making them less enjoyable.

In these cases, particularly at the start, one idea would be to give yourself a reward for completing the habit, as this will initially act as an incentive to ensure you maintain these behaviours.

For example giving yourself a spa day for meal prepping consistently for 3 weeks.

3/ Be patient!

Patience is one of the most important skills an individual can possess, and this is key for almost any challenge or transformation in life including habit development.

As we’ve mentioned, the process of developing new behaviours into consistent habits can be a long one.

This means that you may not see the reward from your behaviours for a while, which can cause you to lose motivation.

Similarly, you can feel like you’re going too slowly and not making progress, and this can also be common.

Working through things at a slow but progressive pace while also remaining consistent, is key.

This is where patience comes in, continually challenging yourself and making these small wins each day, week by week will eventually benefit you immensely, but it is important to remember, everything you do should be sustainable.

4/ Get back on track

During the process of building new habits, it’s only natural that you will have an off day or fall off track, even the best and most successful people have off days from time to time.

In these situations, it is easy to give up, but these are the moments that separate those that end up successfully changing their lifestyle and those that end up back at square one, feeling frustrated in themselves, and giving up.

Realising that you may have off days, or that certain situations are out of your control and may hinder your progress, is vital!

Understanding how and why falling off the wagon happened is key to reduce the likelihood of it recurring.

Remember that perfection does not exist and that the most important factor of success is consistency and getting back on track when necessary!

5/ Progressive overload

You may have heard the term ‘progressive overload’ in relation to improving yourself in the gym, but this can be applied to anything in life, including forming new habits and undergoing a lifestyle change.

As we’ve discussed previously, the process of habit development needs to be sustainable, hence why it is ideal to begin with simple, small habits that you are able to manage.

However similarly to the gym where over the sessions and weeks you will add in an extra rep or slightly increase the weight, the same can happen with building habits.

Once you have nailed the first few habits that you created for yourself, you can evolve this by adding new habits or developing your current ones.

Remember it’s important to do this manageable way to ensure you do not give yourself too much and overload yourself – as too much change too soon can leave you feeling overwhelmed and can derail your progress.

The wrap

Overall, the process of habit development can be challenging initially, simply because like anything new, you may not be used to doing certain things and carrying out certain behaviours on a consistent basis.

Distractions will also easily occur, particularly in the early stages of your new habit development.

Using the tips in this post can certainly help to achieve your long-term goals, we use them ourselves across our personal training programmes, and especially our Lifestyle Lean package.

Starting small and gradually developing these habits, remaining patient and consistent, while having the understanding that you may fall off, but the determination to get back on track, will set you up for success when looking to improve your lifestyle.

To your lean, healthy, optimised future,

Jamie & the Optimised personal training team

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