Taking the Pain Out of Lifestyle Changes

Man with arms outstretched to the sun

Have you ever noticed how painful change can be? Doing things like getting off sugar or coffee or exercising more can just add stress to your life. And, when it's not easy, you don't stick with it. Stanford researcher BJ Fogg discovered that behavior is systematic. How we change behavior is not done through sheer willpower. To make lasting changes, you need three components.

The first is motivation, followed by ability and then trigger. What does that mean? It's like this: you want to get up at 7am for work. That's your motivation. Putting the alarm within arm's reach, that's the ability. The alarm going off is the trigger. Makes sense, right?

What if your goal is too BIG? Then is has too many parts. You need to break it down into very tiny steps. For example, you want to exercise more, start with 2 pushups or if you want to floss your teeth, start with 1 tooth. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? That's actually what it takes to make lasting changes.

Often people feel overwhelmed with change. How do you fit yet one more thing into your already over packed schedule?

Find an anchor. That means, anchor the new behavior to an already existing habit. Do you brush your teeth regularly? Then attach flossing to that action. Most people pee an average of 7 times a day. What new habit could you attach to that activity? Could you do lunges on your way back to your desk from the bathroom? Sure you might look silly, but you'd be working out. And who knows, you might even start a new trend at the office.

The big thing to remember is, if it hurts, you're doing too much. The new behavior needs to be not a big deal.

Remember to acknowledge your successes. Look in the mirror and give yourself a thumbs up or a big smile while saying "nicely done!" It seems like such a simple thing yet how often do you celebrate even the tiny successes in your life? The funny thing about our brain is, it can't distinguish between celebration over something big or something small. By celebrating the small stuff, you leverage that into bigger successes. It's a snowball effect.

The more small changes you are successful with, the more you increase your confidence and pave the way to reach bigger goals.

Did you commit to losing weight or eating more healthfully in the new year? Well, one of the best ways to succeed is to seek support.

As we all know making changes can be challenging and without support you increase your probability of failure.

I've supported tons of people to lose weight, get healthy and feel better in their body. Join me for my next group and let me help you make the changes you'd like, one tiny step at a time.