“There isn’t enough time in the day to workout”
“Organic food cost too much”
“I will take my dream trip when I loose some weight”
“I am too old to workout”
“lifting weights is boring”
“I don’t like to work out alone, but I can’t afford a gym membership”
Do you see your favorite excuse on this list? Perhaps you have more than one “goto” reason that keeps you from getting started on your fitness goals? Maybe you love to start a new health/fitness program, but find that you loose your motivation quickly thereafter.
You may have heard that it takes 21 days (or three weeks) for a lifestyle change to take root. And that timeline may be true for a committed individual who is making a modest change (let’s say, drinking a glass of water before a meal). However, when the change is more complicated, like adding in walking for 30 minutes a day, the time frame shifts dramatically. Study participants took anywhere from 50 to 84 days to incorporate just a simple 10 minute walk after breakfast! Clearly exercise habits are tough for people to add into their already hardwired routine.
The study I am referring to was published in The European Journal of Social Psychology. Study participants were given modest exercise goals, such as 50 sit ups after dinner, or a 10 minute walk after a meal. The subjects reported their success at maintaining the task. The results were quite varied, and it took anywhere from 18 to 254 days to create the new habit. 254 days! That is almost 1 year 😳. This study puts that average closer to 66 days, nowhere near the 21 days that we have all heard about!
If you had been expecting that your new goals would get easier in just 21 days, and after 5 weeks you still have to struggle to accomplish the task, you might be thinking that this just will not work for you. It will work! It will get easier! Persistence is the key. We just need to understand that this is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix!
If you are interested in stopping the excuses, I would like to direct you to a blog that I find really helpful.
Beachbody On Demand has articles, recipes and simple, healthy food swaps to get you going in a healthier direction. The link below will take you to a discussion on breaking those excuses!
Breaking a habit