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A change of identity can go a long way.
Studies into how we approach our time after retirement show that people broadly fall into one of two camps.
Some take the view that retirement represents an opportunity for more activity and hobbies such as gardening, fishing, cycling, walking and wildlife watching. Others take a much more negative view and feel their best is behind them, they are less functional, more prone to illness and feelings of what’s the point as deterioration is inevitable.
Some studies have found that those who adopt a more positive outlook on life will live for more than seven years longer so the identity we have of ourselves can play a huge part in our future health trajectory.
So perhaps instead of focusing on the results we would like to achieve, we could think about changing our identity. Perhaps instead of setting a goal to get fitter and lose one stone in the next 12 weeks we could think about becoming the sort of person who doesn’t miss a planned workout. Or perhaps a person who plans, buys and eats more healthy foods the majority of the week.
A shift in mindset can change our daily choices and then the results will take care of themselves. If your new identity can be anchored to a keystone habit, such as being more active, this will ripple out into other aspects of your life. For example, if you train more, you will sleep better. Sleep better and you will improve your energy levels and focus. With more focus and energy you may eat more healthily and so control your weight more effectively. Control the weight and it’s easier to train and stay active.
So if you often struggle to achieve the goals you set yourself, what about a change of identity?
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Rob Graham, Lead Exercise Professional, Healthy Options.