MAINTAINING HEALTHY HABITS
It’s harder to begin a new habit than to maintain an existing one. You have put in the hard work over the past 8 weeks and created some amazing healthy habits, so why not keep the momentum up! The following steps can help you to maintain the healthy habits you have started. Ready? Here we go!
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR ACTIVITY WISELY
The first step in maintaining a healthy habit that will be a long-term staple in your lifestyle, is to choose an activity that compliments the results you have achieved from the challenge and continues to help you achieve more . Think to yourself when you are about to do something “Is there a different activity I could do that helps me stay on track?” (ie swapping Netflix for some mindfulness, taking the stairs instead of the elevator). Other activities to consider are getting your sleep, eating, hydration, movement, and stress management.
STEP 2: BUILD THE NEW HABIT INTO YOUR SCHEDULE
If you don’t have a specific plan for sticking with a new habit, it’s all too easy to find that you’re already-packed schedule won’t allow you the ‘spare time’ necessary to do anything new very often. You’ll be too busy, too tired, or will easily find another excuse to let daily life snuff out your best intentions. That’s why a crucial next step is for you to find a specific time in your schedule that’s allotted just for your activity. Whether it’s ‘every morning before …, or ‘weeknights at 5pm’, you need to have a time that you know is set aside for your chosen activity so that you won’t need to continually find a reason to do your activity.
STEP 3: ENLIST SUPPORT
You’ll find much more success if you have others who are helping you along the way. Not only will they give you support when you need it, but you’ll also have them to answer to if you feel like skipping your sessions, and this will make it harder for you to make excuses and quit. One way to get support is to seek support from our PLC coaches and our coaching membership. However, you can also get support by having a buddy joining you for sessions. .If you’d rather do it alone, you can always ask a friend to keep you accountable for the first few weeks, or keep a journal where you record your activity and success every day or at the end of each week. Whatever route you choose, it helps to have someone to keep you accountable, at least in the beginning.
STEP 4: USE GOALS & REWARDS
Although the great feelings you get from exercise can be their own reward, it helps to also have some more tangible rewards. reward yourself for your first few steps until your new healthy habit becomes ingrained into your way of life. The first month or so is especially important, as that’s the approximate time it takes for a new behaviour to become a habit. The rewards you give yourself are a personal choice, and you probably know what would be the best incentive for your own success, but I recommend something small and enjoyable (like a new piece of gym clothing).
STEP 5: CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF TO ENSURE YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK
As you move toward developing healthier habits, pay special attention to how you feel as you incorporate them into your life. Does your new practice seem to fit with your lifestyle and personality? Is it easy to maintain your new habit, or do you think you may need to try something new (Unwind sessions, open gym, one on one coaching)? If you find that you haven’t kept up with your new plans as you’ve hoped, rather than beating yourself up over it, congratulate yourself for noticing that you need to change or modify your plans.
NUTRITION TIP: DON’T FEAR SATURATED FAT
Saturated fat has been controversial, and in the past, it was thought to be a major contributor to heart disease While it’s true that saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, it also raises HDL (good) cholesterol and reduces small, dense LDL (bad) cholesterol particles, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease Emerging research has questioned the association between saturated fat intake and heart disease. It appears that saturated fat may actually have no impact or a slightly positive impact on overall health as long as your overall diet is healthy and nutritionally balanced
Do you have any tips that you’ve picked up yourself? We’d love to hear them. Tag us in your tips & tricks in health and nutrition stories on IG at @plc_coaching_