By Ross Dunbar
In my experience working with people - once training, diet and exercise becomes ROUTINE or HABIT, that becomes the key to unlocking your potential. You find yourself with the body you want and most importantly - FEELING the way you want.
Ok, I’m no spring chicken in this industry anymore but if there’s another element I’ve learned that is vitally important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it’s investing in your MENTAL health. As with exercise, everyone is different when it comes to this. Improving your mental health can be found in different ways such as reading (my favourite), taking a relaxing bath, yoga, writing, studying, taking up a new hobby - any way you find that you can ‘take a load off’ to help you ‘switch off’ is your source, your way of investing in your mental health. In my world, I see exercise itself or sourcing a personal trainer as a person’s way of investing in their mental health.
The point is, good physical and mental health give you the strength and awareness to allow you to develop the discipline and organisation which in turn gets you into good habits and integrate a ROUTINE of HABITS into your lifestyle. You may already be a creature of habit without realising it.
Put it into prospective of what typical routines of habit you do in a day;
- Morning alarm goes off at the same time
- The morning coffee
- Taking a shower
- Brushing your teeth
- Scanning the inbox
- Checking social media
- Helping kids with homework
- Going to bed
See? You are maybe already used to habit. Just think differently and think how adding some of the below positive routines of habit would help you live a more physically and mentally healthier lifestyle:
- Preparing or planning food intake for the week
- Planning your training routine for the week/month ahead
- Setting daily/weekly goals or short, medium, long term goals
- Tracking your progress (weight loss, strength gains, distance walked etc)
- Cutting out unhealthy foods detrimental to your physical and mental health
- Reading an article or 20 pages of a book per day
The people I have trained and whom have seen the best results in themselves - live and breathe on their routine of habits. Without routine, or if they are removed from their routine and, for example, had to cancel a PT session for whatever reason in a day (I.e. last minute morning meetings, the dog died, personal illness, a sick child) they absolutely cannot stand it! It can affect their focus at work or home for the rest of the day if their path of routine becomes skewed. They become irritable and feel they are totally out of sync. This is maybe an extreme example - but I’ve seen it first hand and I’m sure if you are an experienced trainer or a coach reading this, you will totally understand what I mean.
Developing a routine of habit will also provide you with a very important attribute to help you walk the earth and conquer it on a daily basis - confidence. You will develop confidence knowing that you are in control of your life and on the road to achieving your goals. You will develop confidence as your body changes shape to the way you want it. You will develop confidence as you become mentally strong and mentally aware of building on your good habits. You will develop confidence when you feel you are more focussed at work. You will develop confidence knowing you have more energy on a daily basis.
SMALL habits create BIG differences.
Try integrating some of the above examples into your daily/weekly routine and very soon you will feel and see the difference…