Taking that first step to make a lifestyle change, can be difficult whatever your goal is, maintaining it can be equally as hard if not harder. How often do you make a resolution to be healthier to find that your attempts were only in vain?
Rose one of our employees, explained how she has recently struggled to form healthier habits:
“I have always struggled to maintain a healthier lifestyle and will often find myself making a resolution to be more active and eat better to only find myself breaking it within a few months and give in to some sort of craving.”
Rose is not alone in her struggle - around 36% of us will intend to exercise more but won’t follow through, that’s almost 13 million people in the UK and with 71% of us starting to exercise regularly to only give up within the first three months it’s easy to see why we find it so hard to make a change1.
Dr Falko Sniehotta, a psychologist at the University of Aberdeen explains why it can be hard for us to make healthier changes to our lifestyle:
“Knowing what is good for you and wanting to do it is, alone, not sufficient to make sustainable behaviour changes. The proverb, 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions', is backed up by science. There is often a substantial gap between our intentions and our behaviour.”2
Usually this is because we aren’t simply fulfilling crucial human needs in order to be motivated to make a behavioural change and form a healthier habit1.
The human needs that have to be satisfied in order for us to be motivated are made up of the following1:
- Feeling competent, seeing signs that we are doing well, making progress and feeling good afterwards - For example tracking your progress via an app or fitness tracker will allow you to keep an eye on your progress and how close you are to reaching your goals.
- Having a choice in what we do, rather than feeling pressured into doing it – Have a range of options available to you in a way which is convenient so that you don’t feel forced to exercise.
- Having a sense of belonging and feeling comfortable in our surroundings - Simply exercising with a friend or eating healthy as a family can help you on your way to implementing a healthier lifestyle. A study in 2014 found that children who ate regular family meals were more likely to have a lower rate of obesity and ate more nutritiously.
Actress and mother, Kate Hudson, explains how she stays motivated with her busy schedule, “My motto is not to push myself, because the second I feel pressured, I want to give up. If I haven't done anything for a while I usually start getting motivated by doing literally just ten minutes of something, whether it's jumping up and down, dancing, taking a walk or kicking a football with my kids.3"
For more tips and advice on health and wellbeing please visit our Stay Healthy page.