UNDERSTAND BEHAVIOR CHANGE
All the best information in the world doesn’t mean anything if you are unable to implement them. Application of knowledge is not automatic. Think about all the things that you already know you ‘should’ do, but don’t actually do. Any worthwhile health behavior change, begins with the mind. Everything you want to accomplish, starts with habits.
Instant gratification is a very problematic thing when it comes to behavior change. Many of us in our personal fitness journeys, jump from program to program trying everything to find something that works. The biggest issue we are facing is our approach to fitness and health, and trying to ‘undo’ 10, 20, even 30 years of poor choices over a 3 – 6 month period.
All or Nothing
In an all or nothing and fast “progress” approach, we sacrifice health longevity for the sake of very short lived results. Lasting behavior change is about making small incremental, sustainable changes that as an individual can adhere to. What does it matter if the training or nutrition plan you are on is the “best,” if you regain all your weight and lose performance gains. With regard to training, many of us may make a great deal of progress in our abilities to express strength, but do so in a manner that leads to eventual injury and an inflexible body.
This constant battle of Yo-Yoing in diets and instances of injuries will only lead to frustration and declining health in the long term. Habits lie at the center of behavior change and comprise most of our actions throughout each day. It allows us to repeat patterns of behavior without conscious thought. Understanding how to use habits to work in your favor. It will allow you to achieve a lifestyle change that will last a lifetime.
Lasting behavior change has less to do with self control and grinding as you may think. Mindless, exhaustive efforts to accomplish our fitness goals are less likely to lead to long term behavior change. Change your habits without relying on willpower and depending on high levels of motivation. The health habits you practice regularly will have more effect on your ability to stay lean year round.
Keeping all the above in mind, where do we begin. Well again it all starts with the Mindset.
Fixed vs Growth Mindset
A fixed mindset is the belief that traits and abilities are fixed and cannot be changed or improved (Dweck 2013). Many are far from their ideal of health. In the pursuit of physical health, these individuals neglect their well-being and quality of life. They tend to avoid challenges and have difficulty in the face of obstacles. Many make excuses, play victim, balk at feedback and refrain from exerting effort.
A growth mindset rests on the belief that ability, skill, and personal characteristics can be developed through dedicated effort. Embracing challenges and focusing on what can be learned from a situation so that they can return better prepared. Growth mindset individuals are all about self-improvement. Setbacks give them the opportunity to improve their deficiencies and mistakes. They set out to learn and constantly look for opportunities to progress. Though, a growth mindset in one area of your life doesn’t always lead to the same mentality in other areas.
You can develop the growth mindset by recognizing the difference and leaning toward/redirecting your thinking. No matter how bad your situation may be, there is always potential to change for the better. There is always room for growth; you can always do something.
Start with understanding the differences between a Fixed and Growth Mindset and actively choose the latter. It’s not about trying harder; it’s about training smarter. Knowing the facts won’t do you any good if you don’t learn the practical tools that allow you to apply the right behaviors to your life consistently. You need to get your mindset right before everything falls into place.
Redefine what you consider “normal.”
Check out https://mindsetonline.com/ as Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, (known for her work on the mindset psychological trait) shows you how mindset affects success.