Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Interpretation: To be successful at changing a negative pattern to a positive one, you need to realize that it takes preparation, time and consistency. The new pattern needs to become automatic (i.e., a habit).
Application: How do you create a life-long habit? Your behaviors need to become automatic. Automaticity is a psychological term used to describe how we make choices regarding our daily behaviors such as setting an alarm clock at night, putting on shoes before we leave the house, buckling the seat belt when we get in a car, and remembering how to drive to the office. These activities do not require much thought; we just do them. If we consciously thought about each decision we make, we would be exhausted at the end of a day.
While automaticity may have been working against you and your weight loss goals for years, it can work for you. First, plan what you want to do. For instance, walk more. Then, figure out how, when (time), where and even what you’re going to do when it rains or it’s too cold. Get that all down on paper (or computer or smartphone), then start immediately. Do something. Be consistent. A key component of change is making the change a habit, something you do every day – no breaks. Do your walking each and every day, and eat and drink healthful foods each and every day for at least one year. That’s how long it takes to get your mind and body on track. Research has shown that you shouldn’t need to take breaks from your “#diet” or “physical activity.” If you have to take a break, you’ve made too many radical changes in the first place and your diet or exercise program will not last. New eating and exercise behaviors need to feel comfortable and not be too restrictive.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
–Norman Vincent Peale
Interpretation: You need to believe you can make a change before you can actually make it.
Application: Feeling confident that you can change a behavior is one of the single biggest predictors of success. It’s called “self-efficacy,” belief in your ability to “organize and execute” whatever behavior you would like to modify. It’s the confidence that you can attain what you want, and it’s especially important if you want to control your weight.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that as self-efficacy improved, eating habits also improved and weight loss was greater. In another recent study, researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands reported that those who believed they could control their eating and didn’t blame being overweight on “bad genes” lost the most weight.
Well done is better than well said.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Interpretation: When it comes to changing a behavior, procrastination is rampant. There is nothing more important than just starting.
Application: Start right now. Do not put this off. You don’t need to overhaul your entire life. Just put down the doughnut and go for a walk. Seriously, I’m not saying that it’s easy, but at the very least, you can begin immediately. Saying, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow” shows that you have the wrong attitude. Your diet-and-fitness program needs to be something you can live with forever, not something you put off because it doesn’t happen to be convenient right now.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Chance favors the prepared mind.
Interpretation: It is important to recognize that preparation and planning will help you make better choices and will lead to sustainable long-term success.
Application: Think about this scenario: You’ve been so “good” on your diet: You’ve lost weight, exercised every day for months, and it’s all going really well. Then it happens. You’re completely stressed out; you just had an argument with your 14-year-old daughter; your boss is breathing down your neck about that report that’s late; your phone’s been ringing off the hook; you’re at the end of your rope. Then, to top it all off, your co-worker is having a birthday celebration with the works, including lasagna, cake and ice cream. You have it all, and you don’t just stop there you continue this slide, and you relapse. The reality is that weight loss and maintenance have lots of ups and downs, and plenty of curveballs. Think about the difficult choices you face most often, and make sure to figure out the best outcomes before you face them. Read: Relapse Prevention: http://www.dietdetective.com/
The starting point of all achievement is desire.
Interpretation: How often have you started to make some positive change in your life only to be derailed by the first bump in the road? Can’t think of any? Do New Year’s resolutions ring a bell?
Application: You need to find your reason WHY: Why in the world do you want to lose weight? You’d better have a very clear and precise reason that will stand up to your most powerful excuses. Don’t just say “for my #health,” “to look better,” “to feel better.” Be specific “I would like to lose weight because I would like to be there for my granddaughter’s graduation in 15 years.” Keep in mind, if you’re not sure, or if you treat this glibly, there’s a high likelihood you will not achieve your weight-loss goal. Think you already know? Make sure. Then write it down.
“Louis Pasteur”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Louis_Pasteur.jpg#/media/File:Lou…