How to stick to your goals and health routine
By Maggie Catlow and Kate Johnstone
The Three Musketeers of Change and Growth
We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. Self- motivation is interlaced with the goals you make and the habits you form in order to achieve them. In Clever Land they call this concept Self-Determination Theory. According to Self-Determination Theory (SDT), three key needs must be met to allow growth and change: Competence, Connectedness and Autonomy. These Three Musketeers of Growth are essential for developing a cohesive sense of self.
While people are often motivated to act with promise of physical rewards such as prizes (If I run after work every day this week I can eat as much cake as I want on Sunday), money or praise, SDT emphases that intrinsic motivation is the keystone of long term, sustainable change. This means we start relying on internal forms of reward and motivation instead of external ones. For example, if the focus you have for a new habit or change is improved self-confidence, and you surround yourself with positive reminders of your internal goal, then you are much more likely to stick to your new habit of exercising every day. And if you wanted to, you could still eat your cake on the weekend.
For the rest of the year, identifying your ‘internal motivators’ and planning ahead will be key if you’re going to stay focused on the positive changes you have been making. This is the perfect time to go back and review your ‘Best Self Menu’ or even better, update and refresh your vision for your best self after 8 weeks of self-love.
The Boring Power of Making a New a Habit: The Three R’s of Habit Change
There is a power to being boring when it comes to habit formation, at least in the initial stages. James Clear, a behaviouralist who specialises in studying habits believes that there are three key components to understanding and forming habits. According to Clear, every habit we have, good or bad, follows the same three step pattern: Reminder, Routine and Rewards. The Reminder is the trigger that initiates the behaviour, Routine is the behaviour itself or the action you take and Reward is the benefit you gain from doing the behaviour. If you want to change a habit, breaking it down to these three things can be a useful way to then brainstorm how to make a new habit. For example, if a colleague comes around at 3pm each day to ask if you want to have a cuppa and a sugar-filled snack (reminder) and you accept the offer of a move away from your desk (Routine) and then sit down in the tea room and enjoy your muffin and a chat (Reward) then it can be really hard to break this routine for a more healthier one! So, if you want to stop eating nourishment-lacking food at 3pm you can use this formula to create new habits. Your new habit could look something like this:
Reminder: Your colleague invites you to take a break by going for a walk around the block
Routine: You accept and take a walk
Reward: You have a chat with your friend, have left your desk and enjoyed some fresh air
If you can determine what your new Routine is, then you can proactively plan the ideal ‘Reminder’ to help trigger the routine behaviour and see if you can mimick the Reward of the old habit with the new one.
Reducing variability is a great way to become more consistent and commit to new habits. You owe it to yourself to meal prep if eating healthy is your 2016 goal. If getting fit is this year’s resolution, commit to an exercise class for a number of times per week and turn up like clockwork. If you are wanting to get a health condition under control, then commit to the activities and people that will support your journey. Your will to achieve greatness begins with your mindset and perspective and repeating the new habits, every moment, every day, every week.
It takes 21 days on average to adjust to a new situation and it can sometimes take months for new routine to become an automatic habit. Consistency is crucial and the Endeavour Wellness Clinics are a great place to maintain your focus this year.
This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice. All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant. Please see your Practitioner for health treatments and advice.