This was something that I wanted to figure out pretty quickly. Enablers are things that would help me on my journey and blockers – well they were the things that would put up barriers for me or obstacles.
I sat down with a piece of paper and drew two columns. I started out with all the things that I thought would help me. I knew that I wanted to do some exercise and I also knew that going to the gym was not something that I wanted to do (I will blog more about raising self confidence and self-esteem at another time). So, I wanted to exercise and do something everyday to move my body so I invested in an exercise bike – this was my first enabler. My list continued with items such as ‘find support’ and ‘watch my progress on My Fitness Pal’ also ‘set small achievable goals’.
I then moved onto what blocks me. This included items such as ‘having rubbish food in the house’ and ‘going shopping when I’m hungry’. I also wrote down impulse control (again this is something I will blog more about later). But I knew that not being able to control my emotions or impulses would be a blocker for me.
When I had my list of enablers and blockers I then started working on them.
This might be a good place to start for you if you are looking to make changes – essentially you are asking yourself ‘what will help me and what will diminish me?’.
The first place I started on my journey was to think about habits. I wanted to get myself into some good habits, so I started to look into how to do this. University College London carried out an interesting piece of research on habits to see if they could find out how long it takes to form a new habit. The outcome was that something relatively easy to do (such as drink a glass of water with breakfast) became habitual within about 20 days. Activities that are a lot harder took a lot longer and some didn’t become a ‘habit’ within the time frame of the experiments (approximately 80 days).
If we think about this it makes sense – habits are something you don’t need to think about, they are something you automatically do such as brushing your teeth. If you are going to do an activity then it would seem that getting into a routine is the best bet (well from the evidence I could find anyway).
So, with that in mind I set up my first routine – and that was to log everything I was eating – I had to know where I was starting right? There are some great apps out there that allow you to do this – I used My Fitness Pal.
Getting into the routine of knowing what I was doing each day helped me firstly to notice what exactly was going on and then to start making changes.
I hope you enjoy joining me on the journey to a fitter and healthier me. I was talking about my progress and it was suggested to me that I should write a blog – to share what I am learning along the way so that hopefully people can connect with me and some of the ideas I will talk about on here.
So, here’s a little bit about me. For most of my life I have been on a ‘diet’. And most of them have been ‘successful’ when I’ve been able to stick to them but just not sustainable (who remembers the cabbage soup diet? yuk!). I decided 6 months ago to start with my mindset and follow with healthy eating and exercise. So far so good! I think the biggest difference this time around is the combination of all the three elements of mind, food and exercise. As I’m a CBT therapist and study the science of positive psychology, I decided to get busy working on myself by applying tools and techniques that enable change.
I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas with you all