A New Year, A New You: Building Lasting Habits
Written By: Kaylie Ricks
As we step into a brand new year, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past and setting resolutions for a healthier and happier future. One of the most effective ways to kickstart positive change in our lives is by cultivating good habits, and there's no better foundation for success than incorporating movement into our daily routines. Let's explore the importance of starting the year on the right foot by embracing physical activity as a key element in building lasting habits!
But first, understanding how habits are formed can be the key to successfully integrating positive changes into our lives. According to research, habits are created through a loop of cue, routine, and reward. By identifying triggers, establishing a routine, and experiencing positive outcomes, we can solidify habits that stand the test of time.
Physical activity serves as a powerful catalyst for habit formation. When we engage in regular exercise, our bodies release endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, promoting a positive association with movement. This positive reinforcement makes it easier for us to stick to our routines and creates a sense of accomplishment that fuels our motivation to continue.
Setting Realistic Goals:
The key to establishing sustainable habits is setting realistic and achievable goals. Instead of aiming for drastic changes, consider starting with small, manageable steps. Whether it's a daily 15-minute walk, a short home workout, or a beginner's fitness class, gradually increasing the intensity as you build stamina will set the foundation for long-term success. If you're in Ohio, consider taking advantage of our newbie deals!
Finding Joy in Movement:
One of the most overlooked aspects of habit formation is enjoyment. Choosing activities that bring you joy and fulfillment increases the likelihood of turning them into lasting habits. Experiment with different forms of exercise until you find what resonates with you – whether it's dancing, hiking, cycling, or weightlifting, the options are endless.
Creating a Routine:
Consistency is key when it comes to habit formation. Designing a schedule that includes regular movement sessions makes it easier for your body and mind to adapt. Consider incorporating physical activity into your morning routine or during lunch breaks to ensure that it becomes an integral part of your day.
Building a Support System:
Sharing your goals with others and building a support system can significantly impact your success in forming habits. Joining group fitness classes, partnering with a workout buddy, or participating in community challenges at the gym can provide accountability, motivation, and a sense of camaraderie.
Documenting your journey is an essential aspect of habit formation. Keep a journal, use fitness apps, or take photos to track your progress. Celebrate small victories along the way, and acknowledge the positive changes you've experienced. This reflection not only boosts motivation but also reinforces the belief that your efforts are making a difference.
As you embark on your journey to build positive habits in the new year, remember that movement is a fundamental element in creating lasting change. By understanding the science behind habits, setting realistic goals, finding joy in movement, establishing routines, building a support system, and tracking your progress, you can turn physical activity into a sustainable and enjoyable part of your daily life. Here's to a healthier, happier, and more active you in the year ahead!