Weight loss, how to get fit and being generally healthier often form part of our New Year’s resolutions. Most New Year’s resolutions will fail, but these simple tips should improve your success dramatically.
Changing habits of a lifetime is quite tricky, especially where weight loss is concerned. Most of our behaviour and our choices come from our subconscious mind, so these long established patterns don’t respond to simply thinking about them. Even once a pattern is changed, if a familiar trigger is encountered, then the same behaviour can be triggered too.
Keeping resolutions: top tips
1. Identify the trigger
If a particular time or place tends to make you reach for the biscuit tin, then recognising it helps you to do something about it. Our brains use automated responses to speed up our ability to choose. Unfortunately, this automation can lead us to make unhealthy choices again and again.
2. Substitute the habit
Just thinking about not doing something doesn’t help. The more you think about not doing it the more you want to do it! The best hope is to substitute the behaviour for something more desirable e.g. instead of reaching for a biscuit reach for a carrot or some nuts. Here’s more diet advice.
3. Plan ahead
Once you identify the trigger and how you going to change the habit make a commitment to yourself to do the substitute behaviour. If you really want to get motivated then tell friends, family and work colleagues about your plan.
4. Think negatively
Write down all the negative aspects of the behaviour you want to change to help motivate you. Also write down all the positive things of the desirable behaviour. This simple technique has been shown to help improve motivation.
5. Think big
Think about the important things in your life like family, your partner your work or some other higher core value and think about how your poor habits will impact those ideals.
6. Start small
If you try to make a massive change all in one go, you are likely to fail. Break a bigger problem down into small bite sized chunks. For example, if you’re concerned about your weight, start changing your snacks between meals. Do that for a couple of weeks and then change what you eat for breakfast and so on.
Here at Sundial, we will be announcing a Health and Wellness package which will include fitness assessments, weight loss help as well as other care and support to help you achieve your goals in the coming year.
Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick. Jeremy Dean (Da Capo Lifelong Books)
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