Making Behavior Changes Stick

07 Feb Making Behavior Changes Stick

“Ugh, this is so hard!”

“I hate January because…..

  • I can’t eat chips.
  • I can’t eat ice cream.
  • I can’t have a drink!
  • I can’t eat anything I enjoy!”

Does this sound familiar?

Each January, you make a resolution to eat better, to do a “dry” January, to lose weight, to go to the gym, or something else to improve your health.

And, after a week or two, you lose interest and are frustrated with yourself.

There are many reasons why this happens, and it goes beyond your willpower – so don’t get down on yourself!

Perhaps you tried to make too many changes at once and they weren’t sustainable.

Perhaps you didn’t spend enough time figuring out your “WHY” so you’d stick with it when life gets difficult.

Or, perhaps you didn’t have the right mindset for these changes.

In order to make lasting change, you need to shift your thinking. Here are five mindset changes that will help you make sustainable, lasting changes:  

  1. From “I can’t eat” to “I choose not to eat”

When you say: “I can’t eat that” it immediately creates a feeling of deprivation and lack. Instead, if you say “I choose not to eat that” it creates a totally different feeling. In addition, if you have a strong reason why you choose not to eat that particular food – like it doesn’t make you feel good, or because you won’t sleep well after eating it, it makes it so much easier to stick with your decision not to eat it.

  1. From “this is hard” to “this is worth it”

It’s so easy to think “this is hard” and have a negative attitude towards the change. However, if you focus on why you are making the change, and the longer term reward, it’s much easier to stick with it and push through. For example, if you’re trying to eat healthier, think about how your body will feel better and how you’ll have more energy for your loved ones.

  1. From “I’m not sure I can do this” to “I know I can do this”

Self-doubt is a major obstacle on the road to success. If you don’t believe you can do something, you are less likely to progress. But, if you approach your goals confidently, you’re much more likely to achieve them. So instead of letting doubt creep in, tell yourself, “I know I can do this.”

  1. From “short term focused” to “long-term focused”

When you do something for a specific period of time, like 30 days, or 6 weeks, you have a short-term focused approach – and often count down the days until you can go back to what you were doing or eating before! For example, I have a good friend who does “Whole 30” every January and on January 31st she rewards herself with pizza and beer. I’m not sure that is the best approach for long-term success.

  1. From “all or nothing” to “baby steps”

If the thought of eating less junk food, meditating or going to the gym seems too insurmountable, break it down into manageable steps. In my Reiki training I learned a great phrase to support this. Say to yourself, “Just for today” or if that seems too much, “Just for this morning”. For example, just for today, I will drink more water, which makes it so much easier to do. Before long, these consistent daily actions will add up and you will have formed a new habit.

Making lasting habit changes can be difficult, but it’s 100% possible. By shifting your mindset, you can set yourself up for success.

Next Steps

The next time you catch yourself saying one of the less positive statements above, stop yourself and reframe your thinking to the positive.

Remember, “if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”   ~Henry Ford

If you need help reframing your mindset, to gain more energy, to get off the yo-dieting rollercoaster, or to ditch your all or nothing attitude when it comes to your health, I’d love to help.

Reply to this email and let’s hop on a 15 minute mindset strategy call!

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