Fit Tip: 4 Keys to Sustainable Habits

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Our motto at True 180 Fitness is to be the change we want to see in the fitness industry. One of the biggest hurdles we face is dispelling the notion that there are quick fixes or shortcuts to getting healthy. The bogus messages about detoxes, cleanses and new, trendy workout crazes are everywhere.  We believe in empowering our clients with real information about movement and nutrition to help them reach their goals and live better. Success then relies on sustainable habits that improve your quality of life. Here are four ways to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success:

Choose smart goals. We’ve talked about setting smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals before. It’s also important to make sure that your goals are tied to something you personally value. It will be much easier to create a habit if the payoff is actually meaningful to you. This might mean a little time thinking about what truly motivates you. It’s easy to feel pressured to look a certain way but the benefits of exercise go way beyond aesthetics. Tying in a deeply held, personal value to your fitness goals will help you stay the course.

Fill in the blank. There might be parts of your current daily routine you’d like to part ways with. Maybe you always find yourself splurging on a Danish to go with your afternoon cup of coffee, or maybe you’re evening agenda consists exclusively of binge-watching your way through your Netflix queue. In your fervor to ditch your old habits don’t forget to fill that void with something else. For example, if you’ve begun to cut carbohydrates from your diet you need to be sure to add in extra veggies to be getting the calories you need. Similarly, if you cut way back on down time in front of the TV to make time to get to the gym you have to be sure to still find ways to treat yourself to some rest and relaxation like getting to bed a little earlier or splurging on grocery delivery so you don’t have to make time to get to the store. Filling in the “blanks” left by unhelpful habits will be the difference between trying to white-knuckle your way to success and actually enjoying a long lasting, positive life change.

Pat yourself on the back. Change is never easy and in our current culture, unhealthy choices will be staring you in the face at every turn. You have to applaud yourself for your efforts. That acknowledgement and affirmation helps get feel good chemicals to your brain that will keep you chugging along. This can be as simple as a quick mental note congratulating yourself on getting through a difficult Afterburn class or fun vacation to celebrate hitting a weight loss goal. And feel free to get others involved in this feedback loop! One of the best aspects of training at True 180 Fitness is the sense of community. If you’ve started to floor press more weight, or have kept on track with your nutrition goals all week let us know. We love to hear what’s going well for everyone and help celebrate successes!

Be Excellent.  We like to remind clients of the wise words of Edwin Bliss: “The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic and a terrible waste of time.” Slipups will happen. That’s part of life. Sustainable habits won’t be extreme, rigid or based on perfection. Sustainable habits will involve strategies for how to get back on track after things haven’t quite gone as planned, patience and wiggle room. Success lies in striving to be your best not striving to be perfect. 

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