to say life has been a little nutso lately is a minor understatement. let’s just say that my routine has been slightly disrupted and it’s been harder than i thought to pop back into my energetic, go-getter lifestyle. reading back through past blog posts, even i wonder how i ever had such wonder-woman willpower, enviable energy, and ferocious focus. i know it’s still in me, i just need to find that girl again, and so ensues a 21-day endeavor to do just that. they say you can create a habit in just 21 days, although research has found that it may take more than 21 (way to burst my bubble, forbes) but the way i look at it, sticking to a new habit for even 5 days is an improvement. what i’ve found to be true about me is that when i set a goal, no matter how big or itty bitty, just achieving it makes me feel good. and a happy feel-good me is more likely to continue to do more of what makes me feel good. failing, on the other hand, frustrates me…makes me feel defeated, and the downward spiraling thoughts begin: i didn’t workout yesterday and i’m tired today, so i’ll just start monday…i already indulged in froyo so why not wash it down with some truffles? so myth or not, 21 days is a very achievable timeline for me to get my rear in gear.
so i’ll share my habits i plan to (scratch that: WILL) put in place starting this saturday + tips for success, using my habit as an example:
“i am COMMITing to write every single morsel of food in my fitbook, plan every workout beforehand (6/week) + fill up at least 8 of those little water circles (oh my) every single DAY for 21 days.”
[disclaimer: don't judge...yes, even i get lazy with my fitbook - and my results show it so I'm COMMITing to get back in the habit!]
don’t bite off more than you can chew (unless of course you’re grazing on kale). the idea is to FOCUS on making one (or maybe 2) small changes on a daily basis every single day for 21 days to form a new habit. if i know you, and i know i do, you are overachievers like me. no bueno when we’re talking small, incremental tweaks. focus, people. trust me, i wanted to change like 5 habits: no hitting snooze, read my Bible every day, get 8 hours sleep every night, drink 3 gallons of h20, workout 6 days/week, no added sugars…the list goes on. hello, perfectionist? yeah, that’s me. so i recognized my inner-freak starting to perk it’s ugly little head and stepped back and realized: “when i use my fitbook every day and complete it…i’m always on track.” and no, this is no shameless promotion. it’s true: just ask my poor little dehydrated, sleep-deprived, workout-slackin’, froyo eatin’ body. writing it down has always worked for me, go figure.
not “i’m gonna try”…or “i might”…but “i WILL”. making a declaration of “i WILL”…”i AM” is a stronger statement than a wishy-washy maybe-statement. so my statement starts with “i am COMMITing”…it’s an active, present-tense statement that i plan to write in the front of my fitbook and read it out loud daily. i admire those people that can look in the mirror with a straight face and recite an affirmation – i’m not one of them. i start laughing. but i figure if i have this in front of me and re-write it every day for 21 days in my fitbook, it might just sink in my little brain.
BE REASONABLE + SPECIFIC
if you can’t measure it, you won’t know if you achieved it. “i wanna eat clean”: ok, brilliant. so does that mean you achieved that goal if you eat 1 clean meal? or every single meal for 21 days? but let’s be real: you might be setting yourself up for failure if you leaveany wiggle room. so that means you might need to tweak your habit to something that you CAN (and will) do for 21 days straight that is healthy, not obsessive. “i will drink more water”: what’s “more” mean? like, for me, 24oz would be an improvement on my recent track record. let’s say you’re in my cactus-club of taking in no water (i know, i preach it and don’t do it), it wouldn’t be reasonable for me to say i’m going to go from zero to 3 gallons. commit to a goal that challenges you but doesn’t set you up for failure. measurable test: if you can’t answer yes/no to “did i achieve this goal today?” every day for the next 21 days, it’s not specific enough.
CREATE A ROUTINE
don’t rely on your willpower to be able to stick to this for the next 21 days; research shows that you’re more likely to succeed the LESS you have to rely on willpower. how do you do that? change your routine. so if you tend to go spoon-to-jar on the peanut butter every night at 9pm, you may forgo the jars and opt for single-serving packs for the next 21 days and commit to start reading a book at 9pm each night. for my goal, i am going to block off 1 hour each sunday night and plan my week while i’m prepping my food, then go back to keeping my fitbook with me at all times, actually writing my workouts out the night before,committing to logging each meal, and drinking 8oz of water before each meal. i’m also going to raid my water bottle stash and keep one at home, in the office, and in the car so i have NO excuse to reaching my goal. my fitbook will (again) be toted around in my purse, gym bag, and on my desk with me at all times, creating a visual reminder in my daily routine. read more on this routine concept, as well as using reward, cues + planning to change habits from experience life magazine.
finally, after you commit to yourself, make it known. a recent study found that if you merely talk about a goal, you’ve got a 43% chance of achieving it. take it one step further and write it down – it ups your chances to 65%. but if you write it down, tell a friend, AND consistently update your friend on your progress, your odds of achieving your goal shoot up to 76% (huh, funny: same percentage as the # of people who lose weight using fitbook in the first 12 weeks. coincidence, i think not.). so think of it this way: if you COMMIT to our #21days2change challenge AND get a friend to do it with you, you up your chances of success by 33%! so COMMIT now to #21days2change – and if you wanna up your odds of success, tag a friend or 2 to join with you. if not, i’ll be your friend.
we kick this off on june 1, coincidentally just 21 days til summer! so as of tomorrow i’m kicking off a new fitbook. this obviously leads to a whole other post in itself: me starting a fitbook on a saturday (another OCD’ers dilemma, but i digress). follow me on twitter, facebook, instagram, and of course on my blog as i post my progress (and cheer you on!) for the next 21 days. don’t forget to use #21days2change when you tell me how great you’re doing!