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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Hacks For Healthy Habits

Everyone has a list of goals they want to achieve, right? Some people want to save more money and some want to lose weight; other people are interested in going to the gym more often or spending more time with their family and less time at work.

Like many things in life, in order us for reach our goals, we have to change our behaviors. For example: if we want to save more money, then we have to spend less. If we want to spend more time with family, we have to leave work early and refocus on who we love most in the world. See where I’m going with this?

For those of us who want to lose weight, in order to achieve our goal, we have to eat less, track our calories and exercise everyday. Change isn’t always easy, but when we follow the same behaviors over and over again for a period of time, we form habits. It’s these habits that help us meet our goals.

How long does it take to create new habits?

For about 60 years, we believed that habits were created in 21 days based on a hypothesis by a plastic surgeon by the name of Maxwell Maltz. He based his concept on patient observations and went on to write a best selling novel emphasizing the 21 days to a new habit. Eventually that number was expanded by various people to 30 days.

In truth, it takes much longer than just 21 or 30 days to build lasting habits. Phillippa Lally, a psychology researcher at University College London determined that it takes 66 days of a repleted activity to form a new habit. 66 days may sound like a long time, but in the scheme of your life, it’s just a flicker.

Here are few tips to help you form healthy habits:

  1. Small Increments: If the idea of committing to 66 days of going to the gym or eating healthy is overwhelming then don’t. However, DO commit to a shorter amount of time that you will consider achievable.

  2. Remove temptation: If you want to be successful in your weight loss then you need to remove trigger foods from your world. Clean out your kitchen, your desk at work and your glove box. If you don’t have these foods available to you then you are less likely to indulge.

  3. Create a routine: Habits are formed based on routines. For example: If you want to exercise more, then commit to going to the gym or exercising everyday. No matter what. It will likely feel like a chore initially, but over time, you’ll learn to enjoy it and eventually, you will be able to go several times per week rather than everyday.

  4. Understand the consequences. If you don’t establish this change in your life what are the risks? For example: If you do not stick to your weight loss goals, you’re likely to gain more weight overtime. This may result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a multitude of other heath related issues.

  5. Find excitement and joy in what you are doing. You’re attitude towards establishing these healthy habits is critical to the process. If you go into this process with a negative mindset, then you will never achieve your goals. You have to be positive and motivated to press forward.

Establishing new habits takes time and effort, but with consistency and focus, you can do it!

Bee healthy. Bee happy.

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