When you’re set in your ways, building new healthy habits can be difficult. But in a recent webinar for Ten Spot, Jenn Giamo, a personal trainer and the owner of Trainers in Transit, made the process a little bit easier by breaking things down.
According to Giamo, a habit is a “routine or pattern that’s repeated continuously until it becomes automatic.” However, before you can build those shiny new habits, you first have to put in the work to make a health behavior change. Luckily, doing so doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating, and she has four simple ways that can help you reach your goals.
4 Ways to Make a Health Behavior Change
1. Make it Obvious
One of the best ways to make a health behavior change is to make it as obvious as possible. “It’s a reminder to continue that behavior,” says Giamo. For example, jot down a food log on a piece of paper. “If I see if on paper, it’s obvious—it’s a reminder to continue that behavior,” she adds. Or, set out your workout clothes before you go to sleep, reminding you to get a workout in right when you wake up.
2. Make it Attractive
Giamo says making a behavior change attractive makes you much more likely to do it. “I think the most effective way to do this is through progress. Progress serves as proof for how far we’ve come, and it feeds our motivation,” she says. “What I do with a lot of my weight-loss clients is we take measurements. That’s an attractive goal for some people—to fit into their clothes differently. So we take those measurements and we see progress, and we hope that feeds our motivation to continue on that path.”
3. Make It Easy
When it comes to health behavior changes, the easier, the better. “The more we simplify the action, the more likely we are to actually do it. This also means maybe doing one thing at a time—not trying to do a complete overhaul of my entire lifestyle,” says Giamo. “That makes it a little bit easier to achieve, as well as less intimidating.”
4. Make It Satisfying
Of course any behavior change you make has to be satisfying. Otherwise, why put in the work? “If it feels good, we’re going to want to do it. I like to check boxes off when I complete a task—that feels really good to me. Then you’re focusing on the process and not on the outcome, which is also how you change behaviors,” says Giamo. “You’re not focusing on the outcome; you’re focusing on the process of doing it. Then, all of the sudden, you’ve lost 10 pounds.”