The Daily Practice
We are creatures of habits. Our habits become our lives.
As a trainer/coach, improving health and performance is a habit loop. I can tell you all the how's, why's, and "sciencey" terms but the real ticket is correcting patterns. When I correct squat form and having you do that same movement pattern consistently, I am rewiring your nervous system to habitually do the correct pattern (motor learning). In eating, we all know that eating healthy is beneficial but why is it so hard? Because it isn't a habit. Therefore, when I change a routine or a cue depending on the person, eating healthy becomes a habit.
In health, I do not change the entire lives of my clients at once. I search and probe for trigger points that initiate behaviors that encourage acts that are misaligned with their goals. I will illustrate this with how I introduced hydration with a client I had been working with who had issues drinking water. This was her morning routine, this may sound familiar with many others.
Alarm Clock --> Drink Coffee in Mug--> Go To Work
To put this into perspective, our main goal with working with this client was to lose 20 pounds in three months. This issue, and the background to why I wanted to change this habit, is due to the fact that lack of hydration has negative health effects down the line. Drinking caffeine all day already dehydrates you since it is a mild diuretic. A common symptom of being dehydrated is fatigue, which initiates the need for more caffeine. You can see how the cycle repeats of fatigue/dehydration BUT the main issue for her was mid-day and evening snacking. When you're fatigued, you are more likely to make poor dietary choices. This is how I intervened:
Alarm Clock --> Drink Water In Coffee Mug --> Go To Work
Simple right? Now, she still had her coffee but we introduced water in the morning before her normal cup of coffee. In a few weeks she was packing water and drinking water more frequently throughout the day and her mid-day fatigue dwindled and eating choices improved. Did it happen over night? Nope. Did she forget to have her water some days at the beginning? Most certainly. But over time (in her case 4-weeks) she had developed a new routine that changed all her surrounded behaviors to lose weight.
The Daily Practice
What is my point? Many of the factors in our lives spur from simplicities in our daily routines. If you refer to my article "Depth" I eluded to the importance of spending alone time with ourselves. Many of us do not allot that time to gather our thoughts and prepare for the day which leaves us vulnerable to going through the day aimless. These aimless activities can give us the illusion of being productive but in actuality we're just busy doing "stuff." Put some thought into your daily routine. Are there aspects about your goals/life that you aspire to change? If so, take a look at your morning routine. The habits we live have downhill effects on the actions we take throughout the day. See where you can plug in some time for only you to gather your thoughts and attack the day with purpose. It's your life, your habits, with you knowing where to start to change.
Thanks for Reading. I love you all!