Creating Lasting Change: The Keys to Healthy Living
Most of the clients I work with share stories of trying different diets and exploring various exercise programs to lose weight, get fit, or improve overall health. They also share frustration about not achieving their goals.
Lack of results is not for a lack of effort or trying.
Rather, lack of results is rooted in short-sighted thinking. “If I just do this for 3 months, then the weight will come off and I will be healthy.” Oh, if it were only that easy!
To experience progress, results, and lasting change, you must invest in the process of un-doing old patterns, adopting new habits, and getting to the root of why change is important.
3 Keys to Lasting Change & A Healthier Life
1. Consistency is King.
Strive to do a little bit better than yesterday. Be okay with small steps. Whether you are embarking on a new fitness regime or incorporating more vegetables, or adopting a new sleep plan, it is imperative to create a habit around it. For example, if you haven’t been exercising at all, committing to 10 minutes of daily exercise and doing it every day is a big deal. 10 minutes of daily exercise is the beginning of a habit that can be built upon over time. When you consistently take steps in the right direction, you’ll feel better about your choices and about life in general. These two feelings build positive momentum allowing one habit to build on the next. Each action creates more action, and consistency is a key factor in achieving results.
2. All or Nothing is a Dead Idea.
Let go of the notion of throwing in the towel as soon as you give in. “Well, I ate one piece of meat lover’s pizza, I might as well finish the whole thing and forget my eating plan.” Instead, identify the triggers that caused the binge and make plans to do change the situation next time. You are always one meal away from getting back on track.
Or, “If I can’t do my full hour routine or 3 miles or entire class, or…, why bother?” Not true. Every little bit of intentional movement and exercises contributes to the overall objective of being healthier. Even if your exercise session gets cut short because you got delayed at work, go anyway. Even if you wake up late and only have 15 minutes instead of your normal 30, do 15 minutes. Say, “No,” to limited thinking. Make the best possible decision based on the situation you are in.
3. Dig Deep on “Why?”
Why do your really what to feel better? Take the time to uncover the reason underneath why you want to lose weight or get off medication or feel better in your skin or reduce stress, or… The desire to be healthier must be bigger and stronger than the discomfort associated with change. Change is hard and uncomfortable. So, why bother? Because you matter. Why do you really want to feel better? Why is healing important? When you uncover your, “Why?” everything falls into place.
The 5 Why Principle
The “5 Why Principle” was originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda and was used at Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies.1 Sakichi Toyoda developed the technique to get to the root of challenging problems.
You can apply the methodology of the 5-Why Principle to help uncover your true motivation for change. Take your initial reason for wanting to make changes to your nutrition, exercise program, or any lifestyle habit, and use that as a starting point.
Now ask yourself, “Why?”
- Once you have the answer, ask, “Why?”
- With answer #2 in hand, ask, “Why?”
- With answer #3, ask, “Why?”
- Ask “Why” one more time.
As you look at the final answer, you’ll more than likely have an, “Ah ha!” moment because therein is purpose and passion – the real reason why you really want to be healthy.
The real reason will provide the deep motivation needed to embrace habit changes for the results you want, now, and forevermore.
Information presented by W(h)ealth should not be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Consult a doctor and/or medical professional before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.