The 3 Most Important Factors that Build Healthy habits
Healthy habits are hard to build, but life changing once you do.
If you want to change your health, you have to change your habits. You always knew that, though. But really what is it that has stopped you from changing your lifestyle habits? If you’re like most people, the problem lies in your general attitude and mindset towards change. That’s right, your mental muscle. But, you knew that too. We’ve beaten that to death in our articles, as well.
So let’s try this again…. What’s really holding you (and most people) back? A lack of inspiration? A lack of knowledge? A lack of coaching or support? Maybe all of the above?
Well there is this cool thing in habit change psychology called Self Determination Theory. Ed Deci is the reference for this. I was introduced to this through a good friend, Steven Michael Ledbetter (aka Coach Stevo) of Habitry.com, whom has studied this for years.
Here is some of the published research
For people to change there are 3 factors that they need.
These three factors seemed pretty self-explanatory, but at 1st pass, I got it all wrong.
Let's unpack "autonomy"
The way I saw it was that autonomy meant that one could do it on their own, competency was that the person had a good knowledge base, and belonging was that the individual had a community. Well, not quite. Here is how Coach Stevo explained it and it was a huge eye opener for me.
Autonomy – acting in accordance with one’s values and beliefs.
What does that mean exactly? Think about it like this. It’s making decisions that are in alignment with who you are or want to be. It’s making decisions based on self love. It’s making these decisions when no one is watching.
Who are you when no one is watching?
Here is a personal example. It’s easy for me, as the fitness and health expert, to pass up on the cake when 15 people are around because everyone thinks of me as the health nut. It’s much more difficult to pass on the cake when no one is around at 11:00pm at night in my home.
That is autonomy. Making that decision to pass up the cake when no one is watching…. NOT because I have to, but because of who I want to be. I want to be the person that does not eat in secret or that chooses to love myself by nourishing it with healthy food.
What About Competency?
Competency – the feeling of being successful.
Like I mentioned above, I thought it was about knowledge, but really competency is about actions that create a feeling that you CAN do “the thing” and that "the thing" it is not out of reach. Sounds simple in theory, but far too often people set unrealistic goals, or are so used to having the feeling of being unsuccessful that it affects their ability to stay the course.
You HAVE to feel like you can do it! Small realistic goals in conjunction with big picture goals are critical for that. Many times people do 1 or the other.
What do you mean by "Belonging?"
Belonging – being on the same road as others with a common goal. Not feeling alone.
THIS is the biggest piece that is missing that we hear from new folks at Rebirth Body Transformation Center. Many people have been going down the lonely self-centered road of transformation on their own. It’s not just about being around other people, like group exercises classes, it comes down to feeling like you are not alone and there are others just like you, and that together you CAN do it.
This is crucial.
We know now that there are many groups out there that share recipes, have accountability challenges, and check-ins, but one thing that they generally miss is having a qualified expert to guide them, OR they are trying to sell you shakes and DVDs. Not cool. We have found that the secret sauce is the mix of having a coach that can help you create realistic goals, and provide you with accountability and support, AND having a community to be part of.
That is what Rebirth is.
If you haven’t joined our Rebirth Community group on Facebook, join us for support, inspiration and motivation. This is where our members share with each other!
If you are finally ready to get a coach, that can provide custom exercise programming that's right for you, a nutritional plan that can go as fast or as slow as you want (and that is healthy and safe), and qualified lifestyle and habit change coaching, reach out to us!
Working with Rebirth is like having a personal trainer, nutritional specialist, and lifestyle coach all in one.
And lastly, we have also added some small group training options. This is where you have your own coach for support and accountability, your own personalized workouts, and you'll share that trainer with 1-2 other clients at the same time. This creates a community where people can flourish with support, accountability and encouragement.