Category: Life Hacks

8 Healthy Habits Of Fit People That Will Change Your Life

Just a few simple habits can make the difference between a fit person and a couch potato. We want to share 8 simple yet effective habits that will help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

SMALL STEPS TO BIG CHANGE

wake up early

Waking up early is one of the best ways to be more productive. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are early risers.  Getting up earlier is going to take time to adjust to, but once you make it a habit, you will never look back.

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7 Tips You Need To Build Habits That Stick

Your life is essentially the sum of your habits. But what if you want to improve? What if you want to form new habits? How would you go about it?

Last week we explained the power of habits and how habits work. In this article, we provide 6 scientifically proven tips for creating new habits and making them stick. Follow these and change your life for better.

THE SECRET TO ESTABLISHING LIFE-LONG HABITS

#1 START SMALL 

When a behavior is really easy, one doesn’t need much motivation to do it. When a behavior is hard, much more motivation is required.Relying purely on motivation is risky, as your motivation rises and falls. Stanford professor BJ Fogg calls this the “motivation wave.” Solve this problem by picking a new habit that is easy enough that you can get it done without motivation.

“Make it so easy you can’t say no”

Rather than starting with 50 pushups per day, start with 5.  If you start out exceedingly small, you won’t say no. You’ll feel crazy if you don’t do it. And so you’ll actually do it!

motivation wave

Make “micro quotas” and “macro goals”. In a  study on motivation, researchers found that abstract thinking is an effective method to help with discipline. In other words, it is good to dream big. Your goal should be the big picture, the thing you want to achieve one day. Quotas, are the minimum amounts of work that you need to do every day to make that big dream a reality. They make your goal achievable.

Writer, Nathan Barry, forced himself to write 1000 words per day no matter what. The result was three self-published books resulting in thousands of dollars in sales.

Small habits

If you can do two weeks of 1-2 minutes of exercise, you have a strong foundation for a habit. Once the habit is strong, you can add few more minutes. Soon you’ll be doing 30 minutes on a regular basis. One glass of water a day. One extra vegetable. Three push ups. One sentence of writing a day. This is how you start a habit that lasts.

#2: MAKE IT DAILY

Consistency is key if you want to establish a habit that sticks. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym every day for first thirty days. The more consistent your habit is, the easier it will be for you to stick to it. So go to the same gym, at the same time. Keeping cues such as time and location the same will make it easier to form a habit. The greatest gains are made with early repetitions.

#3: PUT A NEW BEHAVIOUR AFTER AN EXISTING ROUTINE

In order to establish a behaviour as a new routine, it is helpful to use an existing routine such as brushing your teeth which will act as a reminder. You must know what the new behaviour comes after, and use that already ingrained behaviour as a launchpad for the new behaviour you want to establish. This is known as ‘If-then’ planning.

For example, after I get dressed in the morning, I will do two push-ups. It has been shown over 200 studies to increase rates of goal attainment and productivity by 200-300% on average, says Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia Business School.

If this then that

So piggyback your desired habit with other habits or routines that you already have. For example, if you want to start taking vitamins, place the tablets next to your coffee mug. Every time you make yourself coffee in the morning, you can take your multivitamin for the day. Relying on contextual cues is a successful and Multiple studies confirm this.

#4: HOLD YOURSELF PUBLICLY ACCOUNTABLE

Tell others that you are going to begin practicing a particular behavior. It can be your best friend, your partner or your Facebook post.  Being accountable to someone other than yourself can be very motivating and will help you stick to your goal. It is amazing how much more disciplined and determined you become when you know that others are watching you to see if you have the willpower to follow through on your resolution.

Recent research by the Dominican University of California‘s psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.

Share goals

#5: ELIMINATE THE “ SCREW IT!” MOMENTS

Also known as the “What the Hell Effect” , this is when we slip up just a little from our schedule and decide to give up on all of the progress we’ve made.  For example, when you’re on a diet and have one small cookie, get mad at yourself for it and then eat the whole content of your fridge.

Such minor setbacks are habit killers: they give us excuses to skip our habit or trick us into thinking it’s okay just to blow the whole thing off when we mess up. One simple advice is to focus on the total days you’ve done your habit, rather than the fact that you broke the chain. Research has shown that missing your habit once, has no measurable impact on your long-term progress. Rather than trying to be perfect, abandon your all-or-nothing mentality.

Do not be too hard on yourself . This study shows that self-blame is in fact counter-productive. Even top performers make mistakes and get off track. But they get back on track as quickly as possible. Take a close look at your routine and identify where exactly ‘getting started’ falls apart and try to create shortcuts so that the uncomfortable moment is lessened.

#6: REWARD YOURSELF

The main reason we develop many bad habits is because they make us feel good, even if it’s just temporarily. Find a healthy way to reward yourself for practising your new behaviour. Treat yourself to a new book or a new exercise outfit. Every time you reward yourself, you reaffirm and reinforce the behavior. Soon you begin to associate, at an unconscious level, the pleasure of the reward with the behaviour.

Reward Yourself

The great thing about developing good habits is that after doing them repeatedly, they soon become automatic. Follow our 7 steps and make big dreams a reality.

The Power Of Habit

Habits are at the core of everything we do. In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation. The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, becoming more productive is understanding how habits work. Read on to find out how to change your life for better.

HOW HABITS WORK

We truly are creatures of habit. In fact, according to a study from Duke Univeristy in 2006 found that more than 40% of our daily actions are not actual decisions; they are habits.

Your brain is the most efficient processor on the planet and habits are a way for your brain to save energy. We have the ability to operate on automatic pilot, performing complex behaviours without any conscious thought at all. In many cases, these habits are useful. We don’t need to decide every day how to put toothpaste on our toothbrush, saving us mental energy. However not all habits are created equal. Some habits are much more complex. They can emerge without our permission and cause us trouble.

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Small, Realistic & Healthy Habits

Habits Are Hard To Break

Losing weight or getting into a better shape can be extremely challenging to the most of us. Why? Because sticking to a diet or weight loss program often equals a complete lifestyle change. You start to change everything only to later find yourself lapsing back. It’s simply to difficult to make such a change overnight.

We are animals of habits and habits are hard to change because, well, they’re habits. Changing all your habits will soon start feeling oppressive. The minute you have missed that one evening run or turned your cheat meal into a cheat day, you will feel like you are failing. Frustrated you fall back into your old habits, because it just doesn’t make sense.

Get Real & Start Small

Well, how about you don’t immediately go all in. Try to consider a few changes to your lifestyle that will make a difference. Ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you can do that every day for the next two weeks? If you are at least 90% confident then go for it. If not, then maybe you make it yourself a little easier until you just can’t say no.

For instance think about your breakfast. Do you think you could make yourself any of those breakfasts every single day over the next two weeks? No? Think smaller. How about a healthy meal replacement milkshake? Not quite as good as fresh food, but probably a step up over what you currently eat. Still can’t see yourself eating that? How about adding two tablespoons of ground flax seeds to your breakfast? Or some omega 3 fish oil?

By simplifying and owning realistic habits that suit fit into your life you will quickly start to feel more confident that you can take on bigger challenges.

 

Here are a five more habits that you can try to install…

  1. Drink More Water. No, you don’t need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. But how about you try one glass before every meal. Drinking water before your meals has been proven to make you feel more full and eat thus less.
  2. Sleep More. Are you sleeping less than 8 hours a day? Try to sleep an hour more. This will give your body more time to rest and recover.
  3. Eating alone a lot? How about you eat together more often. Have lunch with your colleagues, have dinner with your loved ones. You will find yourself eating better food and more slowly. Check out this article on the Atlantic on why eating together is so important not just to your physical health.
  4. Walk/Bike more. If you live in the city or suburbs you probably either drive a lot or constantly take the public transport. Often we could bike/walk small distances like when running errands or eating lunch during your break. Set yourself a target of what distances you could walk instead of taking your call. You’ll be surprised when you discover what places you can actually reach on foot. Following this can easily save you that 5k run during the week to stay in shape.
  5. Skip Sodas & Juice. Sodas and juices often tend to be full of sugar and empty calories. You can easily replace those beverages with water and lose a ton of weight over time. If you consume a can of coke every day it could easily turn out to save you a few pounds every year. If you consume alcohol, you may also consider replacing your beer, cocktails and longdrinks with healthier choices such as wine and straight spirits (or maybe forego them altogether!).

Whatever you do, start with small achievable habits. You may slip. Nobody is perfect. Just think hard about why you slipped and get back on board. Good luck!

What do you think? Have you tried to install some healthy habits in your lifestyle recently? Share them in the comment section! 🙂