I’m going to talk to you today about putting healthy habits into place and about my own experience in the health and fitness industry and how I’ve progressed over the years.

When I first learned about clean eating and weight training, I was all in. I researched everything I could do. I was trying to do everything as perfectly as possible. In fact, I did a 12-week program, and I didn’t have one cheat meal or one slip-up the entire 12 weeks. I was so strict with myself.

But the problem was that after that 12-week program was over, and I had amazing results, I slipped back into my old habit because in my head, it wasn’t my new lifestyle. It was this really hardcore 12-week program with an end date. Then once the end date was over, I went back into my old habits.

One of the healthiest things I ever did was ditch the all or nothing mentality. Now what I really try to focus on is habit-based coaching, where essentially, I try to implement just one healthy habit per day.

The problem with Weight Watchers, 21 Day Fix, all these other … sometimes extreme, sometimes non-extreme programs that they try to get you to change everything all at once. There’s some interesting science behind habits. Studies have shown that if you just try to change one habit at a time, you have an 80% chance of that habit becoming routine.

What do I mean by that? For example, when I get out of the shower in the morning, I brush my teeth. That’s just a habit. That’s just what I do. I get out of the shower, and I brush my teeth. I don’t even think about it.

When I wake up in the morning, I walk downstairs, and I start making my coffee. That’s just my habit in the morning unless I sleep in. Then I’m grumpy, and my kids know I need my coffee. That’s just a habit.

For example, a healthy habit could be waking up in the morning and drinking a glass of water. Or it could be when you’re at work, you take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or it could be getting into the habit of parking in the back of the parking lot.

If you focus on just one of those habits, you have an 80% chance of that practice becoming a habit. Now, this is where it gets interesting. You try to add a second habit at the same time, your success rate drops down to 35%. You just try to change two of your routines throughout the day, and you only have a 35% of that actually sticking. Then you try to add three or more, and the percentage goes down to 1% or next to nothing. That’s why I’m a huge advocate of just making small changes over a period of time so that way it will become a healthy habit.

I also believe that the way we talk to ourselves is really important. Instead of, I failed or I won, I try to think of good, better, best.

When I went out to lunch today, did I make the best healthy option choice? Could I do better … good, better best. Was it good, was it better, or was it the best? Instead of I failed or I won, there’s no failure in the way that I think of things now.

Just by changing those two things has really helped me create a healthy lifestyle that is possible to continue and live lifelong. I don’t have to live by a scale. I don’t have to track my food all the time. It’s just a way of life for me, and it makes it much more realistic to maintain long-term.

I hope that was helpful for you. If you guys struggle with this, or if you have any specific questions, please leave it in the comments below, and I will answer them for you.

Your friend,

Natalie