We have all heard of the cliché ‘practice makes perfect.’ Recently, a colleague added a new twist by saying, “practice not only makes perfect but also permanent.” I immediately thought of how that applies to the formation of habits. We can practice both good and bad habits until we become ‘perfect’ at them and they become a ‘permanent’ fixture in our daily life walk.
As we apply this to two primary areas of wellness (activity/exercise and nutrition), we immediately get a sense of how we can become habitually perfect at making permanent choices that promote improvement or decline in our wellness.
We must begin practicing good habits in our activity/exercise and nutrition. Let me list some simple principles to live by for each.
Forming Exercise Habits
- Don’t begin too fast. Take it one day at a time maybe beginning with as little as 10 minutes of dedicated activity/exercise.
- Dedicate the activity/exercise at a time that fits your current schedule. Minimize causing a major disruption even if your current habits are less than desirable.
- Journal your total activity/exercise during the week. If you miss a day, let it go and begin again tomorrow. Don’t beat yourself up. During the following week, try to best your previous total activity/exercise time be a few minutes (even 5 minutes).
Check out our Online Workout Programs if you need help creating an exercise plan.
Forming Good Nutrition Habits
- Begin by minimizing between meal snacks that are high in sugar. This can be done by placing a healthy meal replacement bar or a small plastic bag of carrots, nuts, celery, or apples in your bag, purse, or desk.
- Try to add at least two vegetables a day to your current nutritional schedule. Don’t worry about major changes yet, just ADD the vegetables.
- Realize that food content is not what it used to be. It does not contain the nutrition it once did.
Supplementation is likely necessary. Eat as many natural and REAL (unprocessed) foods as possible. Institute gradual changes over time. ‘Practice’ will indeed make you ‘perfect’ at changing your habits until you have made ‘permanent’ improvements in your lifestyle of wellness.