When people come and see me for help with their nutrition, they often tell me that diabetes, or high blood pressure, or high cholesterol runs in their family, so they are not surprised to have it too. My answer to them is: you did not inherit bad genes, you only inherited bad habits. Good health is a choice, not a chance!
Each and every one of us holds the key to our health, but many people don’t realize that because we live in a culture that does not teach us those tools at school. When I work with my clients, they typically give me the list of bad habits they’d like to overcome, and I encourage them to focus on new habits they’d like to cultivate.
The tips that follow will help you to put your good habits — like eating more raw, colorful vegetables and fruit, keeping physically active, and taking time to relax — on autopilot, so you can maintain them with very little effort.
Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Commit to 30 Days. Set a simple, realistic plan of action and stick to it for 30 days. If you make it through the first month, the habit will become automatic. Simple means: 1-2 changes at a time, no more. Realistic means: a plan that will fit within your budget and time schedule. Do you need to be doing LESS, rather than more?
2. Do it Daily. Consistency is key, and the more often you engage in the new simple and realistic habit, the better. For instance, if you’re trying to get into the habit of exercise, you should do some form of it every day for the first 30 days, even if it is only for 15 minutes at a time.
3. Start Simple. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself. So instead of trying to overhaul your whole diet, commit to first getting through a couple of changes, like drinking more water (1/ body weight in ounces per day is the formula), or adding vegetables to each meal.
4. Use “however” Statements. If you start to think something negative about the habit, counter it with a “however” statement. For instance, “I’m no good at exercising,” becomes “I’m no good at exercising, however, I’m just starting out and I’ll get better each day.”
5. Form a Trigger. Think of something you can do right before the habit so that it will “trigger” you into autopilot. So, if your habit is to go to bed earlier, washing your face and brushing your teeth can be the ritual you use to trigger your earlier bedtime.
Please share your feedback and personal tips with us, we would love to hear from you!