Do Your Habits Align With Your Values?
In order to make a successful change, a person’s new patterns/new habits must:
- Align with the person’s values;
- be the steps that will lead to the change that will be the solution to their concerns; and
- subsequently help the person to achieve the best version of themselves.
If all of this comes together and the person can put a check mark next to each one of the items listed above, then the person WINS and subsequently feels happy and complete.
I was out of my consistent lifting routine for about one month while I moved from Boston to Las Vegas, and not completely on point with my nutrition for almost three months because of this move. Even though I still did my best to get my training in here and there when I could, and I stayed on top of my nutrition about 80% of the time thanks to Renaissance Periodization (use the code ‘artemis10’ to save $10 off a Renaissance Periodization nutrition template), I did not completely feel like myself; I felt stressed and out of a routine, rather than happy and complete.
However, as a result of trying to keep up with daily exercise and good nutrition the best that I could during this time of chaos, as daily training and proper nutrition is part of my routine like brushing my teeth, even though I did not feel like 100% myself, I still managed to maintain strength and an optimal bodyweight for my height and frame. Maintaining strength, muscle mass, and higher lean body mass to fat ratio is extremely important to me as it pertains to my long term health, and has become increasingly more important with every passing birthday, especially since I turned 41 years old this year.
Do the aesthetics of how my body looks define my worth?
Being fit, strong, capable, and independent is a huge part of who I am and aligns directly with my values. As a result, my daily habits, my daily routine, align with these values. When my habits do not align with my values, I feel stressed, unhappy, and unsettled.
Just as I brush my teeth every day, when I wake up every day I think consciously about and act upon daily exercise, as well as my nutrition, and about how to balance eating healthy while also enjoying the treats that we all know that I like to enjoy. Every day I take conscious actions to engage in exercise and eat healthy and as a result it makes me feel happy and complete as these actions align with my values.
When making a habit based change, whether that habit-based change is related to daily exercise or nutrition, not only do you need new structure in place in order to reinforce the new patterns/new habits for the change, but also these patterns and habits must align with one’s values.
If these habits do not align with one’s values then the person is not likely to keep up with them and in the end will not have success making a change.
“Change must be structured for many reasons, but one is the way the brain works. Old patterns get reinforced unless a new discipline is introduced to override the old patterns. People who have never exercised on their own because of a lack of self-discipline cannot be trusted to all of a sudden begin to get in shape because the doctor says they need to. They usually need the structure of regular times with a trainer or a class in order to make the program sustainable.”
~Dr. Henry Cloud, Necessary Endings
But if these habits do align with one’s values, then the person is likely to keep up with them during even the most stressful and disruptive times of their lives.
Like me, my fellow I Am Not Afraid To Lift® Retreat coaches Julia Ladewski and Dr. Lisa Lewis engage in daily habits that directly align with their values.
As a competitive powerlifter, physique competitor, and champion role model for women about the importance of strength training and how being strong trumps the scale, every day fellow Lift® Coach Julia Ladewksi engages in habits that take steps toward helping her to reach her current goals whether that be an upcoming powerlifting or physique competition. Even in her “off” season Julia still walks the walk and trains daily and follows a healthy nutrition routine, while also occasionally enjoying her 20% of treats off her healthy nutrition routine.
As a clinical psychologist and new mom as of January 31, 2017, fellow Lift® Coach Dr. Lisa Lewis kept up with her training throughout her pregnancy, which included teaching her two spin classes every Saturday morning.
Staying fit and strong through pregnancy and beyond was (and still is) an important value to Lisa. As such, habits like daily exercise, including strength training and proper nutrition, aligned with this value, and subsequently were something that Lisa did every day throughout her pregnancy just like brushing her teeth.
Here is Lisa at 31 weeks pregnant completing 8 single reps of underhand grip pull-ups with about 30lbs of extra weight due to her pregnancy…
Here is Lisa again at 36 weeks, 3 days, deadlifting 175lbs for 5 reps…
Notice in both cases she made adjustments so that she could keep up with her training because keeping up with her training was so important to her. For example, with the pull-ups, she changed the reps to single reps and for the deadlifts she raised the deadlifts off the floor onto plates, which made it easier to manage with her baby bump, as she did not have to reach so far down to the ground to lift the weight.
Learn more about how to align your habits with your values, and how to make adjustments when life throws you a curve ball, in order to have success towards attaining your goals and achieving the best version of yourself, at I Am Not Afraid To Lift® – THE RETREAT on May 5 – 7, 2017 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.
Early bird (save $310!) and payment plan option available for a limited time through February 26, 2017.
Get all the details and register for the Retreat HERE.
ALL registration closes on March 26, 2017.
(.8 NASM CEUs approved, I Am Not Afraid To Lift® is a registered trademark.)
We look forward to meeting you!