Habits during challenging times
Habits. Whether healthy or unhealthy, they are created the same way: by repeating an action until it becomes a pattern.
When life is relatively smooth, structure and routine are robust and it takes less discipline to continue to make positive choices. We’re more anchored.
During a stressful period however, our environment is often changed. Our structure and routine are displaced. Healthy habits that were easier to maintain start to slide. A less than optimal pattern begins to emerge. Edging in is a perception of loss of control.
Taking one small, manageable step to exert some control – any control! – within the chaos is beneficial on many levels. Especially if that small, manageable step is to embrace a positive habit. Either a new one, or one that slid from your priorities. One healthy choice is often the first step of many.
I’m going to pause here so you can go get a pen and a piece of paper.
Go on! (Okay… I’m a dinosaur. You can also open your phone and type a note in there…) Ready? Let’s review some key strategies that increase the odds you will make your new behaviour a permanent habit:
- Write down your goal in relation to one changed behaviour: “I’d like to start walking more often.”
- Ensure the goal is very specific AND realistic: “I will walk 25 minutes, after dinner, 4 days a week.”
- Determine a time frame after which you can change or renew the habit. Having an end point makes the commitment less overwhelming: “I commit to this for 4 weeks.”
- Create “reminders” for yourself. A post-it on the mirror. Leave your running shoes and socks beside the dinner table. Your water bottle in the fridge.
- Acknowledge all the benefits of the behaviour: “My stomach is more comfortable when I walk after dinner, my back and hips feel better, I might lose weight, my partner is more likely to walk with me and I sleep better.” These types of things serve as intrinsic rewards and actively reinforce the new behaviour. (This is key for habit formation!)
- Avoid black and white thinking. If you walk 3 times instead of 4, do not give up. Quickly reflect on what the barrier was, try to find a strategy to overcome it moving forward, and move forward. For some people, making up the “lost” day the following week helps keep their momentum and motivation.
- At the end of the set time period reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Then do the whole exercise again!
It’s September 1st after all. A perfect time for a new start or two.
Inspiration of the Day
“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.” – Mark Twain
(and look out… it can be easy to get derailed?!)
Live Workouts of the Day
Today we’ve got a couple of live workouts on the schedule.
MOBILITY & MUSCLE WITH MATT
Today, Matt’s bringing you your lunchtime pick-me-up! This workout will focus on the shoulder, hip, and ankle, moving you through a full range of motion. There will be additional stability work for the glutes and core included!
No equipment needed this week!
Join Matt at 12:00pm (35 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 892 2779 8538
ON CORE WITH GARTH
Garth’s back with another week of On Core, where you’ll challenge your core and stabilize your trunk in just 30 minutes!
Recommended equipment: light/medium dumbbell or weighted object (water bottle, book, etc.)
Join Garth at 5:30pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 868 1155 7138
Click here to review this week’s schedule.
If you have any questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.
Trainer Moves of the Day
You’d be amazed by how much weight (load) you can create with your own body weight alone (or using exercise bands), if you’re strategic with your movements! No “real equipment weight” used and you can still feel as though you’ve got those same “equipment weights” in hand!
For questions about today’s Trainer Moves you can connect directly with Penny here.
Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.