Become Healthier

Woman Measuring Her Waist
We all dream of a life where we’re more fit and productive: We wake up earlier, we eat healthy, we work out more often and get more things done during the day without suffering from any chronic pains or poor health conditions. But few of you actually live it.
You do what you can to make that vision a reality: you follow diets, you embrace workout programs, but after a brief time period you find yourself falling back into the exact same negative routines.
Change is hard, and no matter how much you hate to admit it, you enjoy the comfort those old customs offer you; you love how they do not require any attempts or additional energy. But later the guilt comes in. You start feeling ashamed of the bad decisions you made. You lose hope and possibly you even try to convince yourself that it is too late for you and that you are just not meant for the lifestyle you desire. Old habits are tough to kill.
How to get that? It all starts in your head. Rewiring your brain to shift the attention from hating the negative patterns to creating new healthy ones is the ultimate way to drastic change.
Fortunately, we assembled for you now 4 strategies that are guaranteed to teach you exactly how to master your mindset and make a change that lasts forever.
Slow, but steady. Just. Get. Started. The effect of taking baby steps will compound and make you take bigger ones. Be disciplined and stay determined. Do not wait for motivation to knock at your door. Do it anyways, even on the days you don’t feel like it. And what’s one of the best ways to get going? That’s by following The 5 Second Rule:
” If you have an urge to act on a target, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea (… ) Because when you physically move, your brain begins to build new habits (… ) You’re in the act of constructing new customs and erasing existing ones.”
This rule, stated by the author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins, is a kind of metacognition that allows you conquer the tricks your brain plays to divert you, by turning on your prefrontal cortex. The neuroscientist and researcher at Yale University Amy Arnsten explains the 5-4-3-2-1-Go! Countdown activates that brain region responsible of planning and decision-making. It matters also that you set goals for yourself on the long run. These goals can allow you to create sustainable habits. The motivation will come along when the changes become more and more noticeable.
Understand How Habits Work. Habits are formed via a really simple, yet very powerful series of activities Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg calls: The Loop. In his book The Power Of Habit, he says:
” First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which may be physical or mental or psychological. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is well worth remembering for the future. The cue and reward become intertwined until a strong sense of anticipation and craving emerges.”
This means that if you want to change your habits, you need to follow the exact rules that made them. First, begin by identifying the negative habits you have. Identify the trigger behind them, the behaviour that follows and the reward you are feeling. Then, attempt to implement a healthy behaviour to which you accord the same trigger and reward. Remind yourself more often of the reward and repeat this loop until the old habit is erased and the wholesome one becomes ingrained in your own routine. And last, be patient.
Keep your eye on the progress you’re making. Use a calendar and mark the times you adhere to the healthy habits, this trick will not only inform you on the days you are making a progress, it will also motivate you not the break the chain. But in the event you miss a day in which you don’t perform the healthy habit, do not quit. Missing one day will have no effect on your long term outcomes.
Enjoy The Process. All of us know that change is hard, but by rewarding yourself and observing each small victory, you will find yourself prone to stick with the healthy behavior. Acknowledge your achievements and find happiness from the healthy lifestyle you are now living, for it’s the ultimate way to make it last forever. And remember, it is never too late to live the life you desire!
I am Migo Salinas and when I was 54, I was so out of shape that I really suffered heart failure, luckily I survived! I decided to make the most of my second chance learning precisely what I was doing (and not doing) which resulted in my poor health. I always applied what I was learning and now at age 59 I look and feel better than I did even back in my 30’s and 40’s.

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