Beyond All or Nothing: The Real Deal on Forming Lasting Habits
If you know this ghost when I’m not behind a screen, you know I talk about consistent small changes over time to reach goals…. But why do I talk so much about CONSISTENCY and small, easy changes to your life?!!?
We need to build habits.
If you train with Chase or Krysta (via Restore), you’ll know we won’t let clients jump into a workout routine that starts with more than once per week if they haven’t been doing any physical activity previously. This is because the chances of someone sticking to a brand new routine that TAKES UP A GOOD CHUNK OF THEIR FREE TIME, is unrealistic.
Once a client has been consistent for a month or so, we then allow them to add another day. And then maybe if they’re committed and ready to dedicate the time for themselves; three times a week.
We do this because when we jump into a new routine and make a WHOLE BUNCH of changes all at once, our brain and bodies get overwhelmed, and it seems almost impossible to keep up and stay on track. Especially if something unexpected happens or life gets busy.
If you’ve ever woken up on a Monday and said, “I’m going to eat healthy starting now” or have gone into the New Year with the idea that you’re going to overhaul your life OVERNIGHT…. You know that it’s not sustainable.
The changes that stick are the ones that are slowly introduced, built into your life, and become habits that you don’t need to think about.
A habit is defined as an automatic behavior that is efficient, you’re unaware of doing it, or it is unintentional. An example is brushing your teeth before bed. Most of us automatically brush our teeth because it’s just what we do before we crawl into bed. We don’t have to think about it, it just IS something we do. We want to repeat a healthy behavior enough times that it becomes effortless and expected.
It helps to have a plan. Telling yourself, “I’m going to exercise more,” without figuring out when or how will make it more difficult to complete. However, if you say to yourself, “After work, I’m going to stop at that park on my way home and walk the perimeter which should take me 30 minutes.” You’ll likely complete your goal. New habits need to be convenient and easy to incorporate.
Now, what happens when you forget for a day, or you’re busy one day and forget the next? Do you say screw it, why bother starting again? “I’ve lost my mojo, my streak, and I’m discouraged.”
If you walked out to your vehicle and one of the tires was slashed, would you slash the other three….?
The more consistent you are, the better your results are going to be. That doesn’t mean ONLY 100% consistency gets you results. The All or Nothing mentality is more and more common and it’s so frustrating as a health professional as you only need to be consistent about 50% of the time with your new habits, for them to earn you serious health results and benefits.
Don’t throw away your progress by giving up, you haven’t failed, you haven’t “undone all your hard work.”
Move on, don’t dwell, keep going. It’s not a big deal, continue with what you were doing.
I’ve attached an article HERE that lays out one company’s research about how being consistent 50% of the time will earn you great results, as well as 70%, 80%, and more.
This isn’t required reading but it gives great insight if you’re the type of person who “re-starts” their health journey over and over.
Are you someone who gets stuck in the All or Nothing mentality? Did you read the attached article and does it change how you view consistency?