Eating healthy and sticking to a routine is not a simple task, yet building the discipline to do it is even harder. This is the reason why sticking to your meal plan and workouts might be the hardest part of your fitness journey. Our brains can be such a convoluted and complicated piece of the puzzle. It can feel so frustrating to see how easily we can build bad habits. However, worry not! The following tips will teach you how to stick to a healthy lifestyle without giving up!
1. Plan ahead for success
The easiest way to start your fitness journey is to plan meals and workouts ahead! No time? No problem! I recommend you sit and think what time availability do you really have? And once you know it clearly, plan your ideal day. You can divide your days in time splits so that you know when you have free time to fit your workout in! You will realise you have more time than you thought.
2. No Excuses
"I don’t have time to workout or meal prep, I’m too busy". We all have been there! Yet it is important you realise when you truly don't have time and when you are making an excuse. Pay attention to your daily habits. Are you watching too much Netflix? Are you spending too much time on social media? That is time you can use to better yourself, use your time wisely. If you are lacking time try to simplify your life. Avoid spending too much time on things that won't add up to your future and start spending your time on what will add value to your life.
3. Slowly But Surely
According to Charles Duhigg (author of The Power of Habit) here is the key to lasting change:
"If you try to transform everything at once, it tends to be very, very destabilising. In general, what people should do, is they should think of change as a project. It's a project that takes a while... Now, it might feel frustrating to say, 'If you have ten habits you want to change, that means it's going to take 8 months or 9 months.' The truth is if this is a behaviour that's really important, changing it will have this huge impact on your life. It's worth spending a month to change one behaviour permanently. You're going to be reaping the benefits of that for the next decade".
You cannot slay many habits at the same time. You need to give yourself time to adjust and get used to a new lifestyle. Our brains have a great capacity to adapt, but they also require time and consistency to do so. Be patient, great changes take longer!
4. Celebrate Your Success
People learn through reward. Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, found this out after testing his dogs’ behaviour after hearing a bell ringing: He would ring a bell and right after he fed the dogs. After a period of time, the dogs learned that after the sound food was on its way, so they would salivate as a product of that stimulus.
The same happens with people. Therefore, if we want to build a habit, we can reward ourselves after. For example, if you want to build the habit of working out you could reward yourself after going to the gym with a relaxing time at home or with your favourite series!
5. Relax, Take it Easy
You are doing great. If you are reading this that means you really want to make this happen and you do want to change! Learning how to achieve your goals is the first step. However, do not just consume information, take the action! And Relax, great change takes time. Remember: This is not a quick fix, this is a lifestyle.
Guest Blogger Profile:
I am Mechi, a 28-year-old fitness enthusiast from Argentina. I fell in love with the healthy lifestyle 4 years ago after going through the worst moment of my life: Losing my father and my best friend.
I was overweight and in terrible shape. I smoked and couldn’t even walk up the stairs without feeling pain and agitated. I suffered from knee problems that would lead to getting a fake knee: But fitness saved my life, my knee, and most importantly, my mental health. After losing 30 kg (66 lbs) through strength training, a healthy diet (I love cooking), and the help of neuroscience & behavioural psychology which helped me build the discipline to stick to my meal and workout plans long enough to see real results.
I not only realised I changed my body completely, but the way I saw the world: My mindset shifted 360º from being a negative person with a victim mentality to becoming a strong, independent woman that sticks to her words and plans and that is completely positive about life.