Goals are a tricky thing. Building new healthy habits is tough as our brains crave instant gratification. The first thing you need to understand and believe is that reaching your goals is well within your control. The second thing is that you deserve whatever positive habit you’re trying to build. Even if you don’t see yourself as a fit person, you deserve to be fit. If you don’t see yourself as someone who eats healthfully, you deserve to eat healthy food.
We don’t fully understand how habits are built, life gets busy, and our default behaviour is often as unhealthy as it is easy. Unfortunately we tend to not put the right systems in place in order to make changes stick. We tend to bite off more than we can chew, go too fast too soon, and then get overwhelmed too quickly. Habits take time to form, though when they do, they will also change how you self-identify.
“I know what I’m supposed to do, I just can’t get myself to do it!”
These days we are conditioned to expect and receive instant gratification. If we want food we can get it from a drive-through, stick a frozen meal in a microwave, or sit down at a restaurant that’s open 24 hours. If we want a game we can download it to our computers/phones/PS within a matter of seconds. If we want to watch a TV show, it’s a few clicks away.
We expect getting in shape to go the same way. This is why we suck at building healthy habits that stick. We tell ourselves “Hey, I’ve been dedicated for a whole two weeks, why don’t I look like Angelina or Brad yet?”, not remembering that it took us decades of unhealthy living to get where we are, which means it’s going to take more than a few weeks to reverse that.
This is where too many give up:
• They try to change too many habits too soon
• They get impatient the results don’t come more quickly
• They slip up when life gets busy
• And they go back to square one
Before we do ANYTHING with actually building habits, you need a solid good reason as to why you want to build them in the first place or the changes will never stick. Without a good reason, you’re dead in the water:
If you’re here because you decided you “should” get in shape, you’re going to fail the second life gets busy. If you are dragging yourself to the gym because you think you “should” run on a treadmill five days a week even though you hate it, you’re screwed!
As you’re determining the habits you’re trying to set, make the habit part of a bigger cause that’s worth the struggle.
You’re not just going to the gym, you’re building a new body that you’re not ashamed of so you can start dating again. You’re not just learning to like vegetables, you’re losing weight so you can fit into your dream wedding dress. You’re not just dragging yourself out of bed early, you’re getting up earlier so you can work on yourself before your kids get up so they can have healthy parents taking care of them, giving also a good example for their own wellbeing.
In our programmes, we refer to this as your “Why.” Without it, you’re just forcing yourself to do things you don’t like to do – that’ll never last. Tie it to a greater cause and you’re infinitely more likely to push through the muck and mire to get it done. So dig 3 levels deep and ask “why” until you get to the root cause of WHY you want to build a new healthy habit or change a bad one.
Write it down.
And hang it up somewhere you can see it every day.
Got your reason? Great.
In Part 2, together we will get into the three parts of habits.
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