Have you made being active a habit? If not – it’s time to! When something becomes a habit, it can be hard to change (which is what makes turning unhealthy habits in healthy ones so hard). But, starting new, healthy habits takes time, patience, practice, and about three months of repetition, according to experts.
During this time, and even after, slip ups are inevitable. Instead of feeling guilty or angry, work to overcome the barriers and get back on track. One way to do this is to plan for them in advance. Sit down and come up with a list of possible barriers – and solutions to these barriers – so that if they happen, you’re prepared. For example:
Barrier: I might be too busy.
Solution: My back-up plan will be to break up my normal routine into two shorter periods of activity that I can do throughout the day.
Barrier: I might get bored.
Solution: I’ll continuously change the playlist on my mp3 player to keep it fresh; I’ll enlist a friend or neighbor to join me in my activity.
Barrier: It might rain.
Solution: I’ll buy a good rain jacket; I’ll use a DVD or exercise equipment in front of my TV when the weather is bad.
If you encounter a situation that isn’t on your list of barriers – stay calm, think out the problem, and come up with a solution, or leave a comment in the box below to see if someone has any suggestions. And remember, you can always turn to a friend, family member, or your counselor for help.