I don’t keep regular office hours. My door is always open with a glowing welcome sign posted outside. I invite the people in my life to ask questions, and ask often. The beauty of human connections is that we have access to this vast knowledge bank at our fingertips.
People don’t become experts in a field because they want to hoard all the secrets. They do so because they are passionate about what they do. And, well, if you become an expert at something you dislike you shouldn’t fault the world for it. Embrace your knowledge because you hold something that others seek to know.
When my friends or family message me for advice on fitness or nutrition, I tell them to pull up a chair and sit as long as they need to. I invite this discourse because in the end the same nodding smile glows across my face. The one that appears when they realize the answers have always been right there.
It’s a matter of getting out of their heads and into their guts. Humans are creatures of habit, but also highly instinctual. It’s easier to lead by habit than instinct. Ruts are comfortable. We settle into the crevices, we put our feet up on the barriers, and we sink into the deepest recesses of those habits. If the habit is bad, we instinctually know this. However, it’s far easier to stay their than to go with our gut.
The gut is a scary place. It’s raw honesty and blatant disregard for our feelings is kind of ugly. But one thing we must acknowledge is that good habits are just as conformable and cozy as bad ones.
That’s the beauty of it all: when someone graces my home or phones me to voice her frustrations over yo-yo dieting, the inability to lose weight, or to find motivation—when the realization happens that she KNOWS what she should be doing, understands why she is comfortable with those bad habits, and then realizes a few key changes will make all the difference in the world.
It simply boils down to recognizing your behavior patterns, acknowledging they exist, and finding unobtrusive ways to get the ball rolling. Not a complete dietary or lifestyle overhaul (unless some life-altering medical emergency is on the cusp), but finding that forward momentum that will begin the process toward change.
It all starts with one change. Just one.
Because doing that one thing will feel incredible. It will be easier than you thought, and it will provide insight into the bigger and better habit changes that lie ahead.
The other week a friend of mine came by to chat about training. She is active, plays sports, but fell off her gym nutrition routine. She lost weight in the past doing all the wrong things—like so many of us—including crash dieting and abusing cardio machines.
We talked about her lifestyle habits; we found a few things that she could easily change that wouldn’t interrupt her family life. She started the Fit Thrive Bands and Bodyweight program and incorporated some nutrition tips I passed on.
Within a month she lost 10 pounds. Nothing magic happened. She didn’t taking any of the drastic measures she adopted in the past. She feels energized, stronger, and happier within a matter of weeks.
All because she shifted her perspective and replaced a few bad habits with good ones.
You’re a smart human, just like my friend. You know what’s good for you. You may be in the habit of overloading your brain with information because you want an excuse to keep doing what you are doing for as long as possible—because that thing is darn comfortable even though you don’t like it.
Everything you need to know about changing habits is right inside of you. Because good habits can be as quickly implemented as bad ones.
Take binge television watching for example. Some may say it’s not a bad habit, but news flash: it is. If this is you, how did that habit start? Perhaps a friend recommended a show or you saw a post on Facebook about it.
You watch an episode, enjoyed it, and were left with a cliffhanger. Netflix automatically queues the next episode for you, so you don’t even have to push any buttons. Everything is automated and the habit is formed.
Unfortunately there is no automated process for fitness or nutrition. But the same underlying principles remain. You try a new workout and feel great after, which leaves you with the cliffhanger. What if I go back and do this again?
It’s all about repetition. Doing the same thing over and over again until the process is natural.
It might seem more enjoyable to settle into the sofa with the remote, but what if instead you strapped on your shoes and went outside? Or took a dip in the pool, or tried a new recipe, of did one of my free home workouts?
Just like your favorite TV shows, after a while you get hooked. New experiences drive us, motivate us, and keep us excited.
So what are you going to change today? What new experience will you have?