EXPERTS say it takes 30 days to form a habit, but for some people, trading bad habits may require more than simply trying to quit.
In fact, your mind is a powerful thing, and for centuries it has been said that the stories you tell yourself and the things you believe about yourself can either prevent change from happening or allow new skills to blossom.
This has also been justified on Biblical principles which state that death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Consequently, our inclinations or beliefs about a host of things such as our belief in our abilities can impact certain activities like exercising and dieting, and may determine whether or not we stick to an extended regimen.
Personal trainer Gisel Harrow says changing your mindset to help you stick to an extended regimen is by no means easy, but with every aspect of life we have to make plans, set goals and schedule tasks, all by setting our minds on what needs to be done.
“It's no different in training your mind to accomplish or achieve a healthy lifestyle. It all starts in the mind and something we call our critical inner voice. Think of the times you're doing something and that voice in your head tells you that you're wasting your time, you're no good, you won't lose weight, you won't get the body you dream about. If you listen to it, chances are you will quit. But if you replace the negative voice with positives and begin to speak life into your discouragement, and tell yourself you are going to do it and prove others wrong, take it one step at a time, before you realise, you would be well on your way to achieving your goals,” she explained.
Below Harrow suggests some simple steps to changing your mindset and sticking to your goals as it relates to exercise.
1. Change your critical inner voice
Harrow said it is important that we replace our negative thoughts with positive ones.
2. Believe in yourself
“Learn words of affirmation. Anything the mind can conceive and believe, it will achieve. Ensure its positivity and forget the naysayers,” she said.
3. Ask for help
Harrow said asking for help and being held accountable may be just the push needed to keep on track.
And when it comes to sticking to your exercise goals she said:
1. Have a timetable
“Set your exercise goals, schedule your day, and include your training as a part of it as well as your meals,” she said. “Planning ahead makes it easier to get it done.”
2. Keep a journal
Harrow said though this can be a drag, it is important to focus on why you started, check your progress weekly, make a journal, and use these to make adjustments where necessary.
3. Keep going
The personal trainer said even on days when you're not up to it, just get moving and think of that satisfied feeling of accomplishing what you set out to do at the end of each day.