Little and Often Is The Key To Success!
Lisa Mann, Director and Physiotherapist here at the Jersey Sports and Spinal Clinic was recently asked by the Bailiwick Express for her top under-rated wellbeing advice. Of course, Lisa was happy to contribute…. Forget changing yourself in 30 days. The small actions that you take today, and repeat tomorrow and beyond, will determine your overall progress in a year or two’s time. The first thing to remember is that our behaviours are habits. Behaviours are a choice, what you do when you wake up, or how you wind down when you get home. These behaviours are often automatic. In fact, James Clear defines a habit as “a behaviour that has been repeated enough times to be performed more or less automatically so you can do it on autopilot.”
The problem is that not all habits are good and sometimes (especially at New Year) you’ll want to change them all, or go all out for something new. The biggest reason that people fail is that our brains choose the (old habit) learned automatic solution over one that we have to really think about (new habit). Quite simply, to change a habit, the initial steps need to be small because these little “wins” motivate us to do more and reduce the barriers to repeating it again.
Take the New Year’s Resolution to get fit and lose weight. Ergo, join the gym and throw yourself into it full Gung Ho. The enthusiasm is commendable but the worst thing to do is do too much, too often, too heavy, too many reps and not enough rest periods. It may have been a glorious session but the injury risk, as well as the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), will probably mean that the chances of repeating that are very small. It is far better to put your gym clothes by the door the night before so it’s easier to get out to the gym.
Or commit to going with a friend so that you are accountable. Even if you only do five minutes in the gym for the first few sessions, it’s progress. Pointless you say? Well, no, because it is setting up a new routine. Because it is a small achievable step, it is far less likely to fail. Longer term, it will enable you to succeed. “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently” Marie Forelo (American Life Coach).