We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.
What does this mean? We are our habits; what we do day in and day out, how we react, how we treat others, and how we treat ourselves. Therefore these habits (both good and bad) become who we are. Luckily, the bad ones are something we can work on and change if we want to. For example, here are three good habits I have established in my life in the past year and how I succeeded.
My three good habits
- Waking up at the same time every day
- Not sitting for more than 1 hour at a time
- Turning my phone off at 6pm every night
Habits can be anything you want them to be! Think of an established habit as something you do without even thinking about it.
To demonstrate… use brushing your teeth as an example. You don’t think about brushing your teeth twice a day, or grumble and complain about it (unless you are my daughter), you just do it! That is a habit my friends. And it takes hard work and consistency to get to the point where it is like second nature.
Last year after a hip injury I realized that my body was telling me it couldn’t take vigorous exercise anymore. At least not in the large time slots I was performing in. I took the advice of my mentor Brian Johnson and started dividing up my movement in little increments throughout the day. Here is what I did and how I created a habit that has changed my life.
- I made a movement plan. I would start my day with a workout (a short run, or 20 minute bodyweight circuit). After reviewing my home and work schedule I would plan out a walk midday and evening. This could be a 5 minute walk or longer depending on my time, but most importantly not strenuous! Just casually moving my body. Next, if I was sitting I would pay attention to the time (which I naturally do in my life at work and with mom duties etc) and if it was more than an hour I would stand up, and move for maybe 10-30 seconds. Simple as that. Not a workout just going from sitting still to moving.
- Tools I used to get my habit ingrained in my brain. Honestly I didn’t use alarms or reminders for this habit but you totally can and I definitely recommend them. I used a digital watch or clock haha, that’s it! If you need the reminder or get really into your work, definitely set a timer.
- Write down your habit or your plan. When you write down what you want to accomplish you are committing to it and holding yourself accountable. I write down exactly what I want to accomplish everyday.
- Last but not least I executed my plan. Day in and day out I followed my plan. This is where the game changer came. Not only did my body respond positively to my movements, I gained energy, reduced my stress, and I am honestly in better shape than I have ever been. I don’t even think about this habit anymore, I know I am moving 7 days a week, I wake up at the same time every day and already have a plan. After 30-60 minutes of sitting my body now naturally wants to move, and I listen to it. That’s the funny thing about a habit, once it is a part of your life you feel naked without it. This is exactly where you want to be!
This habit has changed my life. I always thought you had to vigorously workout to get results. My mind is blown that I can take care of my body better by just moving throughout the day. Never underestimate the positive change a small habit can bring into your life.
Let’s recap how to get started on creating healthy habits in your life today:
- Write down the habit you desire to incorporate into your life. It could be move more, eat one more vegetable, cut back on sugar, drink less coffee, meditate for 1 minute, etc.
- Write the habit down every day!
- Make a tiny change toward this habit each week. I would say 1%. If you want to go 100%, great, but sustainable change happens best with tiny realistic goals towards your ultimate goal. Make it easy and make it accessible. The goal is to string together wins no matter how small they are.
- Perform this new tiny habit every day. Set alarms, calendar reminders, tell your friends and partner, or child to remind you.
- Be patient and kind to yourself. Remember this takes time and if you miss one day just get right back to it the next day.
No choice, no excuses, set that habit.
What is something you have always wanted to do and have had doubt that you can’t keep it up? Write it down. What habit would change your life for the better? Write it down. Make a quick list and then narrow it down to the most important thing on that list that above all has to be started today. Weight loss, boundaries, fitness, stress management,what is small change can you make today. THAT is where to start.