Starting “getting healthy” is easy. The rush at the beginning of a detox or cleanse: exciting! The signing up the gym or yoga membership: exciting! Buying the new workout gear or kit: exciting! When we start out on a Get Healthy endeavour the beginning is the easy bit. The vision of the slimmer, fitter, more toned, bikini-ready version of ourselves dangling before us. It’s easy to take action.
And it feels good.
The thing is, as many of us know, after a few weeks that initial rush of enthusiasm has waned and the Get Healthy practice we were initially so inspired by has become a chore, a grind, and a pain in the ass. Gradually the “yoga every day” commitment becomes every other day, then twice a week until the yoga mat just sits gathering dust in the back of the car. The juicer whispering the promise of kick-starting each day with green juice made from kale and carrots becomes a white elephant taking up space on the kitchen worktop, a continual reminder we have not kept our promise to ourselves.
So: how do we beat this common phenomenon? How do we make Getting Healthy a happy habit we actually keep?
1. Replace a bad habit with a good habit, one at a time.
It’s easier to stick at a new healthy habit if you replace a bad habit with a good one, rather than just trying to stop a bad one. By substituting a more positive habit rather than just depriving yourself of something you like, you are far more likely to keep the habit up. So, stop having that glass of wine when you come in from work by driving home a different way and have a walk on the beach on the way. Make the post-work walk the new habit.