WANT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE? TAKE THE LESS IS MORE APPROACH

WANT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE? TAKE THE LESS IS MORE APPROACH

Changing your eating and lifestyle habits can be difficult. Often, people get overwhelmed as they consider the myriad things they’ll need to change in order to reach their goals. They take on lifestyle changes with an all-or-nothing attitude that, more often than not, leads to defeat.

You can be successful and create lasting change, however, if you consider the “start small” approach.

How it works
  1. Choose One Habit: Research shows that when people focus on creating one new healthy habit at a time, they are more likely to maintain that new habit. In his book “The Power of Less,” Leo Babauta suggests that those who stick to making one change at a time have a 50 to 80 percent chance of succeeding at that change. People who focus on changing more than one habit at a time see their success rate drop to between 5-35 percent.
  1. Be Strategic: Choose a habit that will help you move closer to your goal. Write down your limiting factors and barriers to achieving your goal, and choose a habit that addresses this.
  1. Make it Easy: Start off with a habit that is easy for you to implement. By doing so, you increase your chances of success. As you get better at making changes, you can tackle increasingly more challenging habits. Think of it like you would exercising: As a beginner, you wouldn’t load 400lbs on a bar and attempt a squat. You’d learn the movement first and slowly add weight over time. The same holds true for changing your habits.
  1. Specific & Measurable: Your habit needs to be clearly defined in order for you to determine whether or not you’re meeting your goals. For example, rather than state a vague goal like “eat more vegetables each day,” get specific with a goal like, “I will consume three servings of vegetables each day.”
  1. Establish a Routine: Try to schedule your habit for the same time each day. Doing so will make it more likely to become a habit. Like brushing your teeth, the more routine a habit is, the less likely it is you’ll have to think about it.
  1. Track Your Progress: Finally, track your progress each day. This will help remind you to do your habit daily and gives you feedback on how well you are doing. Aim for 80-90 percent consistency to see results. You don’t have to be perfect. Just do a little bit better each day.

Expect some setbacks along the way. This is a normal part of the change process. Rather than judging yourself or considering yourself a failure, look at it as a learning opportunity. As Michael Jordan said “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

WANT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE? TAKE THE LESS IS MORE APPROACH.

Changing your eating and lifestyle habits can be difficult. Often, people get overwhelmed as they consider the myriad things they’ll need to change in order to reach their goals. They take on lifestyle changes with an all-or-nothing attitude that, more often than not, leads to defeat.

You can be successful and create lasting change, however, if you consider the “start small” approach.

How it works
  1. Choose One Habit: Research shows that when people focus on creating one new healthy habit at a time, they are more likely to maintain that new habit. In his book “The Power of Less,” Leo Babauta suggests that those who stick to making one change at a time have a 50 to 80 percent chance of succeeding at that change. People who focus on changing more than one habit at a time see their success rate drop to between 5-35 percent.
  1. Be Strategic: Choose a habit that will help you move closer to your goal. Write down your limiting factors and barriers to achieving your goal, and choose a habit that addresses this.
  1. Make it Easy: Start off with a habit that is easy for you to implement. By doing so, you increase your chances of success. As you get better at making changes, you can tackle increasingly more challenging habits. Think of it like you would exercising: As a beginner, you wouldn’t load 400lbs on a bar and attempt a squat. You’d learn the movement first and slowly add weight over time. The same holds true for changing your habits.
  1. Specific & Measurable: Your habit needs to be clearly defined in order for you to determine whether or not you’re meeting your goals. For example, rather than state a vague goal like “eat more vegetables each day,” get specific with a goal like, “I will consume three servings of vegetables each day.”
  1. Establish a Routine: Try to schedule your habit for the same time each day. Doing so will make it more likely to become a habit. Like brushing your teeth, the more routine a habit is, the less likely it is you’ll have to think about it.
  1. Track Your Progress: Finally, track your progress each day. This will help remind you to do your habit daily and gives you feedback on how well you are doing. Aim for 80-90 percent consistency to see results. You don’t have to be perfect. Just do a little bit better each day.

Expect some setbacks along the way. This is a normal part of the change process. Rather than judging yourself or considering yourself a failure, look at it as a learning opportunity. As Michael Jordan said “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

2017-11-14T14:08:44+00:00

About the Author:

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Ryan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and Precision Nutrition Level 2 Coach (Pn2).