Gabe Sanders Ph.D., NSCA-CSCS
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are key pieces of the puzzle towards living an abundant life that is full of happiness and wellbeing. For many people, achieving both regular exercise and a healthy diet is a daunting task. Sure, we all make New Year’s resolutions or we make a goal to start the first of every week with a bang! The problem begins when one goal breaks down. Once one goal breaks down, it seems as if they all fall apart.
Control one behavior at a time
If you have ever started a diet, perhaps you have realized that saying “no” to bad food is easy at first because you are committed to the goal. However, after a few days, weeks, or months, that discipline breaks down and it opens the door for unhealthy habits to creep into your life. You might indulge in some ice cream or skip a workout and justify it by convincing yourself, “it is just one time!” If this sounds like you, it may be best to focus on controlling one behavior at a time.
Focus on the now, take control!
Each day can seem like a grind when you are trying to adopt a new lifestyle habit, or if you are trying to overcome a negative habit. Because the long-term goal of changing behavior can seem overwhelming, it is advisable to focus on the now. This means to treat every disruption as if it is the first disruption of the day.
Start your day off with control. Control the food you put into your mouth. Control the time you get out of bed. Control if you will exercise immediately in the morning. Displaying control of any behavior in the morning means you are in control and then as the day wears on, you are more likely to sustain control of potential disruptions. Controlling what you eat or if you exercise is a decision.
When you treat each decision on a micro level, then over time, the decision can become a habit, one which becomes automatic and part of your lifestyle. So start today, start with control, and propel yourself to a better, healthier you!
Walker, Kate, Emma Sleath, and Carlo Tramontano. “The prevalence and typologies of controlling behaviors in a general population sample.” Journal of interpersonal violence 36.1-2 (2021): NP474-NP503.
Ferrari, Madeleine, M. Dal Cin, and Mike Steele. “Self‐compassion is associated with optimum self‐care behavior, medical outcomes and psychological well‐being in a cross‐sectional sample of adults with diabetes.” Diabetic Medicine 34.11 (2017): 1546-1553.
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