HABIT FORMATION & FOLLOW-THROUGH

3
1766

Both in and out of social media, there is no shortage of people repeatedly describing the changes they are going to make to improve their life while changes are never actually enacted. Most people are genuinely interested in making positive change, so why are so many stuck? Largely because change is uncomfortable and all living beings operate in such a way to avoid discomfort. Inertia takes a toll and poof – one may be the same person they were were 2, 5, 10 years ago! Change is possible, beneficial to your well-being, and can be accomplished if one follows these elkotronic steps:

One: Set Clear Goals & Take Smaller, Manageable Steps – “Get Healthy” is not a clear goal. There are many things one can do to work toward a healthier lifestyle. Choose goals such as “Drink Less” “Eat Higher Quality Food” and “Exercise Regularly” instead. Once you have general but clear goal in mind, set concrete mini-goals such as “Have x drinks per week” or “Cook meals at home x times per week.” and adjust as progress is made.

Two: Keep Track & Reward Yourself – Keep a log with dates you practiced a mini-goal (i.e. work out, home-cooked meal) that you can review to monitor your progress. Hang it up on your stupid refrigerator. Make a graph. Do whatever it takes to convert your progress into a format that can be reviewed and makes you proud.

jeff m prefers to make graphs with his data
Jeff M prefers to make graphs of his data

Three: Expect Discomfort – This is probably the most important one. Change is a pain. It’s difficult getting motivation to go to the gym when it’s dark and cold outside, but don’t let your mind talk you out of it. You may constantly think of excuses why you cannot perform. Note the thought, but take action to the contrary. Too cold? Pack your gym back anyway. An invigorating Blab just started? Get your boogie shoes on anyway. Eventually you’ll get the momentum going enough that your new behaviors will be normal for you.

Four: Use Tools – In regards to losing weight, simply writing down everything you eat results in less consumption. If you want to be fancy, look at apps like myfitnesspal or sparkpeople which allow you to set diet and exercise goals and track progress. Habitica is an app with an rpg theme that allows you to check off when you complete desired habits, daily tasks, and “To Do” list items. Technology can be used for much more than just bullsh*tting.

Five: Stop Talking & Start Doing – Ultimately to make change you have to actually take action and sharing your plans with others may be detrimental to your progress. The effects on follow-through between those who share and do not share their goals was studied by New York University with the conclusion that sharing your goal with others provides an “instant sense of relief, as though you had already accomplished what it was that you were setting out to do. This is what we call the ‘social reality’ – simply having your goal acknowledged makes it a part of your identity and results in a rush of feel-good/reward hormones.”* So, shut thy mouth and get moving. If all else fails, join Elko Tron Bootcamp. All 1,000,000 graduates of this program agree that it’s swell. All the best in your endeavors!

* http://www.psychology24.org/should-you-tell-people-about-your-goals/

3 COMMENTS

  1. Yes! SMART ( specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time measurable) goals are the only way to go. For example: I want to lose 10% of my body weight in 2 months so I can look bootylicious at the beach for Hangout Fest. It fits all the SMART goal requirements. After making the goal, put the plan in place: 1-2lb weight loss per week by increasing protein and cutting carbs, cardio 2-3 times per week, and attending crossfit 2 times a week at least. And of course, 1 cheat day a week is allowed where I will eat a five guys little cheeseburger and not care because it is my reward.

  2. Awesome stuff here, Elko. I’m a terrible procrastinator but reading an article like this from a person I deeply respect like you motivates me not to waste me 30’s away like I feel like I did my 20’s. But like you said, I need to stop talking and start doing!

LEAVE A REPLY