Lorn Healthy Options weekly health tip – August 26

Rob Graham, lead exercise professional at Healthy Options.

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Focus on repetition and not perfection

Many of us can get a little bogged down with the optimal way to increase our physical activity or lose weight through a new dietary approach.

Sometimes we become so focussed on ‘the best approach’ that we forget to actually take action.  Therefore, the best can become the enemy of the good.

When it comes to adopting a new habit, we often fall into one of two categories, either in motion or taking action.

When in motion we are planning, strategising and learning which forms a very important phase in most behaviour change models but if we spend too long in this state, we never actually produce a result.

It’s very easy to tell ourselves that we are making progress when in motion, but instead of getting things done we are just planning to get things done.

For example, we could spend a lot of time researching the perfect new diet, finding new recipes and listing new food types but if we never actually get around to cooking and consuming a healthy meal, we’ll never see the results.

When developing a new habit the key is repetition and not perfection. Focus less on what you perceive to be the quality level of your efforts and just get the reps in.

The more we perform a new habit the stronger the neural connections become in the brain making it more automatic in nature.

So perhaps instead of asking the question ‘how long does it take to form a habit?’ we should be asking ‘how many times does it take to form a habit?’.

Whether you are trying to change your diet, start a new exercise programme, or taking up painting, stop procrastinating about perfection, start to get your reps in and just have a go.

For the full message go to the free resource section on the lornhealthyoptions.co.uk website.

Rob Graham, Lead Exercise Professional, Healthy Options.