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How to make your health & fitness changes stick LONG TERM

We're bright, driven, determined people who have got through a lot in life and achieved a lot right? So why can't we seem to make certain changes, especially changes in your health and fitness stick?


You might feel like:

- you can eat well for a day or a week but at some point you are going to give up

- you just can't create a plan of exercise you can actually stick to

- you want to wait until life feels a bit calmer before you tackle it


So your efforts are ad hoc, stop-start and just frustrating because you know what to do, you just don't know how to make yourself do it!


Sound familiar?


I think we have ALL been there when we've been contemplating change and trying to make a start.


So if you want to crack this in a long-term, sustainable way, here is what you can try:


1. Practice and master showing up for yourself


It's very hard to embed new eating or movement habits if you are not in the habit of doing anything for yourself. Every time you try again or give up (in anything in your life, not just your health & fitness!), you might feel a little bit of confidence in yourself ebb away. Some of us may never have built that trust within ourselves from childhood. So suddenly committing to a 'whole new you' is a BIG step, that can clash with some of the beliefs we might hold about ourselves already.


So, what do you do? Master showing up for yourself in small ways, so that you can start to build inner trust. You start to build the confidence that you will honour the promises you make to yourself. Start SMALL. It doesn't really matter where, or what the 'ideal' behaviour might look like ultimately. You're not trying to trick yourself. You're just showing yourself that you are worth 30-60 seconds of effort.


Some examples:

- drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning

- making your bed

- high-fiving yourself in the mirror

- repeating one affirmation

- saying one kind thing to yourself in the mirror


2. Have an idea of who you want to become and how you want to feel


Often it's the pain or discomfort that's pushing us to change. We just don't want to be or feel the way that we are now. So change is because we are running away from pain or fear.


But what are you running to?

Who do you actually want to BE?


One example of this that I work on for myself is: I no longer want to live in cycles of constant stress and exhaustion (short term pain - running away from). I want to be a relaxed woman who is peaceful and present (who I want to become - my carrot).


So now, when I choose to take 5 slow breaths, when I choose to sit down to eat, when I choose to put myself to bed half an hour earlier (small, simple things at they are) it's not because I 'should', it's because that is my being, living, embodying my idea of a 'relaxed woman'.


More carrot, less stick.


3. Be aware of expectations


Life is NEVER (probably) going to get simpler. Your ideal scenario of how you live, work, move and eat are probably not going to happen - unless somehow your life becomes one of no stress and the only thing you have to care about is you & your health.


So if the perfect isn't going to happen, don't judge yourself against these 'ideal' expectations. Do it imperfectly. Watch out for when you use 'shoulds' in your thoughts.


One example I had recently with a client was a ten day holiday, in which she wanted to workout three times, and prioritize protein and eating well. Sounds reasonable? That was the ideal situation. The reality: her child didn't sleep, the hotel menu was limited, her time was taken up with her children during the day so when she did get an hour to herself she wanted to relax on the sun lounger, not go to the gym. She went to the gym once & she ate intuitively, without tracking anything or eating ideally.


Did she fail?

No, only if you hold it up the 'ideal' situation she'd created in heLife is NEVER (probably) going to get simpler. Your ideal scenario of how you live, work, move and eat are probably not going to happen - unless somehow your life becomes one of no stress and the only thing you have to care about is you & your health.


So if the perfect isn't going to happen, don't judge yourself against these 'ideal' expectations. Do it imperfectly. Watch out for when you use 'shoulds' in your thoughts.r head.


Do what you can with what you have, knowing that this looks very different on different days. And it can look very different from your idea of what it might be like.


Did these help? Let me know below and which one you're going to use this week to help create some long-term change.


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