Change is a natural and attainable phenomenon for people. As a consequence of our life experiences, we grow and develop not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually. Because individuals are adaptable and change is common, even when we are unaware of it, the concepts of change and habit modification seem simple at first glance.
However, if we zoom in, we can see that changing harmful behaviors is really a multi-step, time-consuming process that is influenced by several factors. Behavior modification is fundamentally difficult because “lifestyles evolve for a variety of reasons over a long period of time, and people behave as they do because their behaviors ‘work’ for them.” This is due to the fact that “lifestyles change for numerous causes over many years” (ACE, 2019). Because our habits are influenced by elements such as friends, family, career, stress, sleep, environment, life events, and general health, it is not easy to modify a behavior or collection of behaviors without encountering some level of difficulties. This is because altering behavior is not simple.
What Behavior Change Is Not About
Changing one’s behaviour is not a one-time event, but a goal-directed procedure. As a result, changes in a person’s health behaviour are nearly never achieved or maintained without some kind of effort. Meaningful and long-lasting behavior modification occurs in stages or phases. There is no evidence-based or precise “due date” for transformation, since the time of this process varies widely from person to person. Moreover, behavioural changes are not linear. This indicates that it is not only acceptable, but also common and even to be expected for a person to cycle between different stages of growth. Even while mistakes are an inherent part of the process, you should not allow them to persuade you to throw in the towel, abandon your ultimate goal, or adopt a “I’ve failed” attitude.
The Relationship Between Behavioral Modifications and Increased Physical Fitness
Changing behaviours, including getting in shape and staying in shape, should be a goal-driven process. The activities and choices a person makes on a daily basis have a direct effect on their ability to attain their fitness goals. These choices will either facilitate or impede the path to better physical fitness.
One individual’s goal may be to participate in some kind of physical exercise for a half-hour every day. This purpose may be promoted by participating in certain actions and making specific choices. Supportive behaviours and decisions may include acquiring sufficient quality sleep, keeping proper hydration, ingesting nutrient-rich meals, and devoting the necessary time to exercise. If, on the other hand, this person chooses to obtain a short amount of sleep and consume items poor in nutrients (such as chips, cookies, and fried foods), it is likely that they will lack the energy and motivation to engage in physical activity. These choices will reduce the likelihood of achieving the main objective. Undoubtedly, the person in question would sense discontent and disappointment as a direct result of this. The key to getting into (and staying in) shape is altering habits and finding strategies to make healthy choices simpler.
Below are ways in which you may impact good change
Keep in mind that both transformation and physical fitness are goal-driven activities.
To begin, you should establish a long-term or product target (something you want to accomplish during the next six to twelve months) and two or three short-term or process objectives (something that is more immediately achievable that will lead you to the long-term goal). Your short-term process goals should be tied to the next activities and choices you will make. As opposed to basing goal accomplishment on the attainment of a particular outcome, the target may be met by either making the desired choice or carrying out the necessary action (i.e., weight loss). Consider the following instance:
In around six months, I will compete in my first 5K race.
The following may contribute to the effective achievement of the long-term objective:
- I will begin running three times each week for twenty minutes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and I will increase the length of time I run by 10% every week.
- I will eat at least three plates of fruits and veggies every day.
Beginning with week 3, I will participate in resistance training on Mondays and Wednesdays of each week, focusing mostly on exercises that target the whole body.
- Your long-term and short-term objectives will vary from those in this example; nevertheless, the most important thing to keep in mind is to develop goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) and that emphasize behaviour change as opposed to a product or result. This is wonderful news for anyone who want to reduce weight, since this is a common objective.
Keep a journal of your accomplishments and the choices you make on your behaviour. Despite its frightening appearance, journaling is an effective form of self-monitoring since it allows you to regularly reflect on and address a range of themes, including the following:
- In the case that the weekly goal was achieved
- Barriers you experienced
How you managed to face such challenges
- What activities or choices either aided you in accomplishing your weekly aim or stopped you from achieving it?
- Your intentions for the next week to continue supporting your efforts and how they will be executed
Third, prepare for possible hazardous situations. When a situation or event gives you with the potential to make judgments that may not be in accordance with your objectives, you are said to be in a high-risk situation. For example, there may be pastries in the break room, holiday parties and event gatherings when high-calorie foods and drinks are served, travel, etc. Create a plan for how you will stay on track during these difficult times and consider methods you may support yourself in conquering these obstacles.
The next stage is to search your network for individuals who can give you with social support, additional motivation, and structure throughout the process of transformation. Engage the aid of a spouse, friend, neighbour, or colleague, as well as other support groups, with whom you may discuss your transformation journey and fitness-related goals. This not only helps keep you accountable but also provides you with a sounding board to share your successes and shortcomings.
Keep track of your food intake (not necessarily calorie for calorie, but food items and quality), hydration level, stress level, and sleep quality. If we don’t keep track of events, we won’t be able to identify patterns of behaviour that may be influenced by or influenced by events in the outside world. When we do not accept responsibility for our actions, we have a propensity to make less conscious choices. Conduct research on the several mobile applications that may assist you in performing this activity.
To maintain the amount of effort necessary to achieve a fitness goal, it is vital to make health-promoting choices. To be able to make healthy and conscientious decisions, it is essential to participate in activities that aid in selecting the most rational and supportive conclusion. This needs a substantial number of individuals to make changes in their life in order to create new behavioural patterns. Changing behaviours may be challenging, but it is the only way to make progress toward a better way of life.