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The Magic Formula to Adopt Healthy Habits… For A Lifetime!

When speaking about the period of time required to adopt and maintain a new habit, several theories are being discussed: 3 weeks, 1 month, 6 months, or even a year. However, it is agreed that a habit becomes an automatism when performed repeatedly. The good news: even if you skip a day, it should not hinder the process. So what is this famous magic formula to successfully maintain a new behavior?

Well, you will be happy to learn that there are several, and that some of them will work better for you than others. All you have to do is try them, and then apply the ones that suit you best. Here are some of the magic formulas that will help you integrate and maintain new healthy habits.

  • Determine the reasons why you want to change, and focus on them. It is easier to do something when we see the benefits. Be conscious of the benefits these changes will bring about, but also of the consequences and costs associated with not doing them. Write it down.
  • Allow yourself time to pursue your new habits: waking up early to integrate exercise to your daily routine, taking the time to walk to the train or metro station, or to cut the vegetables for the coming week’s “healthy” meals.
  • Commit to do it in a smart manner. If you wish to get in shape, use all chances of success and create an action plan: buy running shoes, sign up at the gym, set a 5 km walking/running course, use the services of a personal trainer, etc.
  • Regular reminders. Whether it is by performing your new habit every day after work, in the morning before taking a shower, or even when setting reminders in your electronic agenda, give yourself tips to make it easier for you to perform your new habit.
  • Create a strengthening system. Equip yourself with multiple ways of tracking your progress and making sure you are still pushing: keep a log, have a training partner, ask your spouse or a friend to help keep you on the right path.
  • Forget excuses. Sometimes, we shoot ourselves in the foot by making up excuses not to pursue our good habits. Take the time to identify potential excuses, and determine solutions to avoid them taking over. Typical excuses are: not enough time, too tired, etc.
  • Keep going despite seemingly disappointing results. Make a pact with yourself that even if you haven’t lost the weight you wanted to for one or two consecutive weeks, you will keep making efforts. Your good habits shouldn’t leave out the door the minute your weight stagnates.

Do you know any others? What magic formula helped you pursue your good habits?

By Karine Larose

Karine Larose, M.Sc.

Karine Larose is a kinesiologist, Director of Marketing and Communications and Spokesperson for Nautilus Plus who specializes in fitness motivation. She authored The Guide to Healthier Living, penned the book 10-4 The Healthy Way to Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks and released her third work called Zero Diet: Delicious and Healthy Recipes for Success, all by Les Éditions du TRÉCARRÉ. Karine has launched a series of exercise DVDs entitled 30 minutes par jour pour Vivre Plus and is featured on the ULTIME FIT online platform. Many TV shows and radio stations regularly request Karine’s point of view on physical exercise issues and points of interest.

The Magic Formula to Adopt Healthy Habits... For A Lifetime! is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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