Dear Fun & Fit:
I am trying so hard to become more fit and lose some weight, but itâ€™s hard. Â Please say the magic words or sprinkle pixie dust over me so that Iâ€™ll stickÂ with it and reach my goals.
I have two words for you — Small Steps. Watch my metronome – you areÂ becoming sleepy, sleepy. When you hear the disco music, you will immediatelyÂ recognize the power of my pixie dust and be hyper aware of the magical powerÂ of the ordinary. You just have to take small steps every day toward yourÂ goal. Be at one with the Habits – those youâ€™ll create that support yourÂ ultimate goal.
Psychologist B.J. Fogg (yes, itâ€™s his real name) runs the StanfordÂ Persuasive Technology Lab, and he mentions four factors in behavior change: Â motivation, educational information, positive attitude and taking smallÂ steps. Of these four, the most successful is….wait, first take your bestÂ guess. Which one do YOU think leads to successful behavior change?
Before I tell you the answer, Iâ€™m going to step over to my groovy chartÂ â€œFrom 0 to 10 in less than 100.â€ In translation, it says that you canÂ establish habits to help you get from where you are (0=baseline) to whereÂ you want to be (10=goal) in less than 100 days. This does not imply that youÂ can reach all your goals in less than 100 days; it means you can establishÂ the habits that will get you there. Since youâ€™ve asked about weight loss,Â Iâ€™ll use that as an example. You say, â€œI want to lose 30 pounds (thatâ€™s yourÂ baseline, or 0) and be the size I was in college (thatâ€™s your goal, or 10).
Iâ€™m motivated, have a great attitude and know that itâ€™s healthier for me ifÂ I weigh less.â€ Well, we all know where we are and where we want to be; itâ€™sÂ getting there thatâ€™s the issue. By now you have figured out that takingÂ small steps is the answer, yes?
So if you want to lose weight and become more fit, make a chart and fill inÂ the steps that will get you there. You cannot get to 10 from 0 by magic orÂ wishful thinking. If you have not exercised in 20 years, donâ€™t put â€œgo toÂ boot camp 3 times this weekâ€ as itâ€™s not a small step. Instead, put â€œwalkÂ for 5 minutes on Monday, then for 10 minutes by Thursday.â€
If youâ€™reÂ addicted to high-calorie food and lots of it, write down â€œwait for 2Â minutes (away from the snack) between seeing fatty snack and consuming itÂ in case it turns out that I was going to eat due to its appeal rather thanÂ hunger.â€ From there you can work up to â€œhomegrown organic nuts, fruits &Â berries!â€
The point is, many steps forward (and a few back) will get you there. Â Nothing else. Oh, one other thing – once youâ€™ve established new habits, youÂ wonâ€™t need to be quite so motivated. I mean, how motivated are you eachÂ night to brush your teeth? But you do it anyway, as part of your regular,Â habitual routine. So get out there and get in the habit!
If you have a fitness question that you would like to have answered by Kymberly and Alexandra, follow the link to submit your question: Â Fun and Fit Q & A