Let’s unpack the second strategy:
October 2013, I discovered an intolerance to eating grains. I decided to rid them all, then integrate them one at a time to identify the culprit of my joint pain. It was tough, but I did it. I lost nearly 20lbs-with little exercise, had more energy and best of all, no joint pain. I felt amazing.
5 months later, I was hit with one of life’s mudslides. My daughter tells me she’s pregnant the day after I successfully launched my first coaching program, Life Maxxed-90TM. I was devastated.
The pregnancy was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting for all of us. However, one thing remained constant. My faith. It sustained me. No matter how hard things got, I knew how to connect to Christ for strength and comfort, without thinking.
Now the grain-free eating…out the door. I fell back to my old eating habits. I beat myself up thinking it was emotional eating. Perhaps that was true at times. Why did I stay connected to God, but fall off the grain-free train.
I’ve practiced my faith for nearly 20 years.During good times and bad, worship, prayer and bible study became habits. So when life got hard, I did what I trained myself to do.
Eating on the other hand…not so much. When I started grain-free eating. It was during a time when life wasn’t so hard. So while I was developing this new habit. There were not many things distracting me from staying on course. I didn’t realize my habit was not yet ingrained- no pun intended :-). So even though I was nearly 180 in when crisis hit, I reverted to the habits and routines I knew. As a result of this, I decided to do some research on habit creation and discovered:
- It takes 66-254 days to build a habit…NOT 21
- It takes the average person 66 days.
- You can’t get rid of old habits, but you can replace them.
- Building sustainable habits work best in an accountable, supportive community.
While studying habits, I decided to try grain-free again. This time, with strategy and intention. As a result, I went 27 day before I fell of the grain-free train, but I hopped back on much quicker. I evaluated my strategy. I celebrated my success (7lb weight loss in the first month and no joint pain). I tweaked it. Now, it’s been 24 days since I restarted. This time, it’s easier. It’s becoming a habit.
How? Keep reading!
5 Strategies for Mastering Good Habits
1. Pick a habit
The goal is to work smarter not harder. When determining your new habit, ask yourself, will this new habit yield the greatest results? I needed to regain my health Since 80% of weight loss is die and food is medicine,healthy eating is my focus. Exercise is important, but right now, not the focus.You can tackle more than one, but put your energy and time into the one thing that will give you the greatest result.
2. Focus on routine and monitor results
Say this: “If I develop the right habits and routines, I’ll get the results.” This was my number one mistake. I focused on the goal so much, that I never developed routines to sustain my success. When I fell off the grain-free train, I realized grain-free for life was not sustainable for me. My new eating routine is 6 days a week… grain and junk food free with 85oz water daily. I built in a free day to splurge if I choose. This is successful and sustainable. I don’t focus on weight loss, I focus on my routine. Give yourself enough time so see if the new habit is giving you the results. If not, tweak it.
You needs support and ACCOUNTABILITY! As result of my success and passion to see you succeed, I’ve developed The 68-Day Challenge Coaching and Accountability Group. As one of our 68-day challengers put it “Without this group, I would have cracked by now.” It’s so true!
Here’s our group works: We share, what habit we’re developing. Then by the end of each day we use our personalized “I DID IT” button to report our sucess. If we don’t complete the habit, we start over. It’s something about knowing you have to report to others that helps guide your decision to follow through. We share our strengths, struggles and strategies. It’s a safe, information rich environment to grow. Out of nearly 20 challengers, less than 5 have started over!
4. Track Your progress
A visual reminder of your progress helps you stay focused. I encourage our challengers to mark off everyday they complete their habit. Look at your visual progress everyday until your habit sticks. Here’s a picture of how I track my habits. I love seeing those x’s Trust me, once you are deep into it, you don’t want to start over. But if you do, you can celebrate your progress, as you start again.
5. Don’t Quit
This is a marathon not a sprint. It’s tough to stay focused, that’s why accountability is important. After 27 days, I fell off. But, I started over. Now I’m 24 days in. It’s becoming easier. It’s becoming a habit. It’s an amazing feeling to see the results of your consistency. As another challenger says. “It works!” So once you start…DON’T STOP! Learn to…
Life’s tough. If we don’t want to buckle under pressure when life gets hard…then in a season when things aren’t so tough, start building the right habits and routines and enjoy your success even during the muddy seasons of life.
So tell me, What habits to do want to replace and what is your strategy?