In the world of professional sport, there is a saying that goes something like this:- “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
The same applies to any lifestyle change. Change requires daily practice over time. Practicing to ‘get it right’ can be something that is fleeting, a moment in time. Your reasoning is something like this:- I’ve had a good week, or a good month or a successful transformation challenge, I GOT IT RIGHT, I can step off the gas and go back to ‘normal’. The problem is that if you haven’t practiced consistently for long enough, your ‘normal’ (default setting) hasn’t changed, and consists of all your old unhealthy lifestyle habits, which will ultimately take you back to square one.
Training or practicing until you CAN’T GET IT WRONG is an enduring concept, something of permanence. If you can’t get it wrong, you have created a new normal in which your default setting is one of healthy behaviour and positive choices. You may even be derailed from time to time, or deliberately eat the wrong things occasionally, confident in the knowledge that you will easily and naturally return to your healthy new normal. How long it takes to develop a new normal will vary from person to person, but one thing is for sure, it requires daily practice no matter who you are.
The good news is that to practice until you can’t get it wrong is not a long laborious slog. It simply requires a daily effort. It may start with as little as five minutes a day of committing to do something healthy-get some fresh air, eat some fruit or veg, do a few stretches. That five minute behaviour becomes a habit over time and you feel inspired and confident to do ten minutes. Soon a daily exercise routine and making healthier choices becomes a fluid, natural part of your daily routine. If you suffer a setback, reset-go back to basics, start again with your 5 minutes per day if necessary, just don’t stop practicing.
We’re in this for life, be patient, forgiving of yourself, do something healthy every day and remember to have fun.