6 Steps to Make a Healthy Change
3 Ways to Bust Your Rut
"So many people are stuck in place," says Maryann Troiani, a psychologist in Barrington, Illinois. Try these tips to outsmart the fear that's holding you back.
Stop dwelling on the negative. Say that you're contemplating a move to a new city. If you bog yourself down in the problems that could arise, you'll end up too afraid to do anything. Instead, research the benefits to relocating. Then visit the city several times to make sure you'll like it there. "Changing your focus from the cons to the pros is energizing," Troiani says.
Don't make too many changes at once. This is a common mistake -- you move, change jobs and decide to train for your first half-marathon all at the same time. Too much life transformation can be exhausting, Troiani says. "Making one good change will inspire you to make more later," she notes.
Give it enough time. "Our brains are hardwired to change slowly," says Marion Jacobs, PhD, adjunct professor emerita of psychology at UCLA. "Any new practice takes four to six weeks before it becomes a habit," Troiani adds. So be patient and stick with your goal for at least a month. When you hit that point, congratulate yourself. You've changed for the better.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2012.
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