Congratulations on joining the #goFIT13 challenge.
What we'll be doing with the Week 13 blog is looking at how we can use what we do during the challenge to keep the momentum for wellbeing going once the challenge is over: how can we make these 12 weeks work for week 13 - and beyond.
Here's a first tip to practice over the coming weeks: prepare for change.
PLANNING IT IN. If moving more minutes is a new practice, one of the biggest things you can do for yourself is figure out in advance WHEN you're going to get in thoes minutes, DOING WHAT and HOW to give yourself some wiggle room if one day's plan may get interupted.
PEOPLE PLANNING: SUPPORT Another part of prep may be talking with the folks close to you. For instance, if your movement practice may change when you're home or available to do something with your family, chatting with them ahead of time about how you can support each other - sometimes a really important prep step.
Change is Pain - for the Brain - so reduce the change strain
A lot of times, a reason we don't do something new is that we don't really know how to do it or we get overwhelmed by all the stuff we find we have to do to make it happen. There are strategies we can use to help take the AAAAHHHH! out of the experience - make it more practicable than scary.
STRATEGIES. IF trying a new thing - say getting up earlier to go for a walk - it may help to plan that activity a few days into the week so that you can prepare for it - like figuring out what you're going to wear; maybe make lunch the night before - so everything's ready that can be the night before so you really don't have to wake up that much earlier - and can relax about being ready: just get up and go. You may even want to practice getting ready the night before a few times, and then on say the fourth time, doing the early walk too.
Give yourself a BREAK
This challenge can be a great way to build up new skills around health practice - like getting our daily time moving up. But for all of us, new activities - changing the way we usually do things - can be a challenge. When under stress, we tend to rely on the behaviours where we have the most practice. If our long time practice is that we spend time with the TV when bummed, rather than going for a walk, during the challenge, if we get stressed, we may revert to where we have more reps: watching TV. If we do - that's ok. Part of creating a new habit is awareness. Just getting (a) that we're stressed and (b) watching tv as a response to stress is a big step towards saying "next time i feel like this i want to move for a bit" -
Once we figure that out, the next thing is to think about - in advance - options for movement we might have for different circumstances. Like if it's late at night, i can do some yoga or swing a kettlebell or do some push ups or squats - even while the tv is on if that helps.
Plan for Change - Make it As Easy on Ourselves as Possible
If we get that change is a challenge for us - even when we're well motivated to make that change - we can cut ourselves a break and figure out what we can do to help ourselves make these changes.
Sometimes part of planning is also getting people in our lives to help us out - a supportive environment has been seen repeatedly to help with change; lack of support can undermine our best efforts. So to give ourselves the best opportunity for success for the coming 12 weeks and beyond, we can make that path easier by doing a little bit of planning for how to make that change as EASY to operate as possible.
Summary: A few Skills for New Practice
- plan a change in advance
- give yourself time: have a plan to get to the actual change 3-4 days later
- rehearse the elements that support the change - to make sure you're ready
- practice the change multiple times to build up repetitions so that that new behaviour doesn't get overwhelmed when under stress.
When trying to change, having strategies that can help support that new change is a great way to take the threat out of change practice and make it more likley that change will endure and become the new behaviour - the new habit - we want.
If you have questions about how to support making new practice a new habit, leave a note in the comments.
Have a great challenge!