One of the hardest things about getting in shape or creating a healthy lifestyle is changing your routine and exchanging bad habits for good habits. Humans are very much creatures of habits. We fall into routines that we are comfortable with rarely veer off course. We wake up at the same time most days. We go to the same coffee or lunch spots. We go to the same stores, websites, and entertainment areas. Now, there is nothing wrong with having routines. The problem occurs when those routines are detrimental to our health and fitness. We fall into these bad habits because they are easy (fast food) or convenient. These bad habits start to form and it make it harder and harder to get out of the routine and into good habits. Another issue with routines is that we find our comfort zone. We are attracted to things that seem easy because life can be hard and having something easy in our daily life provides us a nice break from our hectic lifestyles. Unfortunately, in order to see change and improvement we need to get out of our comfort zones.
One of my favorite pieces of advice is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It is a piece of advice I received when I was learning about stand up comedy and how we can apply the techniques to our everyday lives. Another piece of advice you’ll see a lot of is “Success begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Both of these quotes are spot on. The first step in changing up your routine is acknowledging there is an issue and you need to change something. The next step is to address these issues by finding ways to change them. This is where stepping outside of your comfort zone comes into play. You need to be willing to see beyond your boundaries and believe that you are capable reaching your goals through these changes.
Once you have taken these steps, you are on your way a better version of yourself. The next step is to acknowledge that it will take time to change your routines and results will not occur over night. My recommendation is to set a goal of 3-4 weeks of consistent, throughout planning. Pick a habit you want to change and then plan on enforcing that change everyday for the next 3-4 weeks. One example would be a healthy eating goal and you decide to cut out all fried food for that time. Really focus and make sure you stick to these goal. There are a lot of studies out there that say 21 days, 28 days, 66 days, 124 days, and so one are needed to set new routines. Honestly, it comes down to each unique individual. The reason I recommend 3-4 weeks is because it a short-term goal that is manageable. Once you successfully hit the goal, you will look back on the last month and realize that you do not need that old routine or habit anymore. Then the next time you get a craving or urge to fall back into the back habit (like the example of eating fried food) you will have the mindset and mentality to know that you do not need or want that bad habit in your life.
Now setting these new routines will not be easy. Getting out of the comfort zone and making changes takes a lot of courage. My recommendation and advice to helping you stick with these routine changes is to Remember Your Why. Remember why you started. Remember that idea that was in your head about how your life will improve if you stick with the changes. It can be extremely tough to stay motivated and remember these reasons, so a useful tip would to them down on some post-it notes and stick them to your bathroom mirror and the wall next to your front door. This way you are reminded everyday of why you started this journey when you get ready to leave the house or get ready for bed.
28 Day Clean Eating Challenge:
Below is simple clean eating challenge that help you set a new healthy routine. It focuses on cutting out unnecessary calories and processed foods, while replacing them with natural and beneficial foods. If you do not feel that you can follow everything in each category, then pick and choose 1-2 items from each to follow. Starting off with a subtle change will help show you that you can achieve your goals. After you complete this challenge, you can then focus on cutting out more items that are unhealthy. Doing these small over time will lead to growth in your confidence that will allow you to continue to push your comfort zones.