6 Steps to Creating Better Health and Fitness Habits

Are you tired of buying every new diet and fitness product that comes along and still struggling with excess weight and poor health? It is possible to make simple changes to yield major results, but not through fads or gimmicks. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It preys on consumers who would like to find a quick way to turn around an undesirable situation. Their promises strike a chord, they peak your attention and get you interested in their product, pill or plan. People buy in the hopes that they can continue to live just as they always have except now, with the addition of this miracle item, they will achieve new results.That sounds a whole lot like the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting a different result. It just does not happen. Real change comes from EFFORT, not from miracle pills, products or plans. Now sometimes these items can help you achieve your goals, especially a product or plan, but you will still have to USE them. That is the big problem.The commercials get you excited that this is just what you have been waiting for. It shows you how it will solve all your problems and improve your life, but it never mentions that you will still have to put in effort. Effort is not exciting, it does not sell products and it is not what people want to hear.This is the rub, you must actually get on your new fitness devise and use it regularly, or you must actually follow the plan that you bought, to get the results promised. Even those magic pills list in the fine print to combine with a sensible diet and exercise plan. The truth is that you don’t need to spend more money to buy more stuff to help you lose weight or get in shape.Save your money and spend your time finding out why you don’t do what you already know would help you. This is the dirty little secret that people don’t like to talk about. Experts simply tell you eat less and move more, which is true and simple. But then why are people still not doing that? It is because of their underlying deeper issues.Step 1 is Awareness. Everyone has a story, a history with food, exercise and habits. This shapes your perceptions and influences your actions. Most people who are not living a healthy lifestyle have failed to address the deeper perceptions that are acting as road blocks. The first step in overcoming those hidden issues is to uncover them.This is not as hard as you might think. You simply begin to examine what past issues may have given you a negative perspective about the healthy living behavior that you struggle with. If you take the time to examine it, you will discover it. This begins your journey to building a new default habit.Step 2 is Evaluation. You must evaluate what you are getting from the old behavior. For everything someone chooses to do, there is a payoff. What is the payoff you get from that unwanted behavior? Learn that and you have found a valuable motivational tool that you can use to create a new behavior.Step 3 is Alteration. After you have evaluated the situation and determined your payoff, now known as your personal motivator, you can decide how you can alter that behavior so that you can meet that need in a healthier way. It is important to specifically choose how you will now approach this issue in the future. It provides purpose and direction.Step 4 is Exchange. Now that you have outlined your new approach and understand why you have chosen the alteration, you can create an exchange. You must replace the undesired behavior with the more desirable one. This still must meet the original need, but now in a healthier way. If it does not, you will not maintain the new habit.Step 5 is Consistency. It is not enough to only carry out the new behavior once and a while; you must practice the new replacement behavior consistently to establish a new default habit. Repetition is essential for permanent replacement.Step 6 is Accountability. The best way to maintain any change is to establish accountability, a way to be responsible for your actions. One of the best ways I have discovered came from Joy Bauer of the Today Show. She recommended a monetary system that is brilliant. You gather $100 of your own money and give to someone you trust. They become your accountability partner. Each time you successfully follow your replacement behavior, you get a set amount back. Each time you don’t, they get to keep that same set amount. Continue until that amount is gone and then start again. You can also work within a time frame to keep your goals on high priority. Play around with it, and clearly write out the rules at the onset. It could be just the motivation you need to make your new behavior permanent.

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