Weighing In: Changing Behavior by Slowly Adding a New Habit or Modifying an Old One

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Many of my friends have started off the year with the best intentions of following through with their New Year's resolutions.  A few have vowed to lose weight, others to stop a bad habit.  I checked in with them recently to ask what progress, if any, each of them had made.

The friends of mine who had started on fad diets were not doing so well and had mostly given up or had switched to a different 'quick' weight loss program.  The only woman who was being successful with her  weight loss goal had slowly adding new habits, or slightly changed old ones.

For example, she started walking a couple times a week, slowly increasing the duration and frequency.  Now she walks almost everyday for at least a half hour. "I couldn't have done it every day right off the bat," she related. "But my philosophy is taking baby steps and not setting the bar too high."

Another friend had decided to cut out going through fast food drive-thrus – not necessarily to shed unwanted pounds, but to start a more healthy eating lifestyle. He didn't stop
eating fast food altogether, but simply modified his behavior.  "If I'm going to
have a burger and fries, at least I'm going to walk for it!" he
explained.  Now he finds that he makes healthier choices for his meals, even when going to a fast food joint.

I'll bet many of you reading this post can see yourselves or your own friends in these examples. Let us know how you're doing on your own resolutions (if you've made any).  How are you doing? Have your goals been realistic?  Are you struggling?  Tell us about your experience!

2 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Joe Byrd says:

    Absolutely! If we are going to live healthy, we have to do healthy things. When those healthy things become our habits, we can truly see long term results.

    I remind my clients to keep the mindset of gradual steps to build new habits into their routine in order to sustain lasting changes.

    Joe Byrd

  • Sara says:

    Maturing is something that happens to all of us and keeping the same habits as we mature is not a good thing. Eating habits are probably the hardest to break. Changing your mindset, I mean really changing your mindset, can help you shed those pounds. I never had a weight problem until I reached those 50′s. Then it was so difficult to lose the weight. Those extra pounds were making me so unhappy. But I found this program and followed it and now I am losing about 2-2.5 pounds per week and I feel so good about myself. When you feel good, it can’t help but change your mindset. We can all do it if we really try.

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