In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg discusses the "habit loop." This is a cycle that consists of three parts: cue, routine, and reward. When it comes to healthy eating habits, many people struggle with the routine part. It can be tough to stick to a diet or exercise plan when life gets in the way.
Achieving our goals can sometimes seem so very far away, especially when we're in the thick of the day to day -- when the scale doesn't budge or we don't see our biceps bulge as quickly as we'd like or our hips are still so very very tight. When studying for my Precision Nutrition coaching certification, one of my favorite elements or the program, that also helped me get through my studies whilst running a business and training clients and getting my own training in for jiujitsu competitions, was breaking up the overwhelm by simply making a commitment to take a 5-minute action.
For example, on those days when it's freezing outside and you don't want to get out of bed and feel too tired to go train, making it through each step at a time gets us closer every minute.
5min action: Get Out of Bed
5min action: Drink Coffee
5min action: Get Dressed
5min action: Walk the Dog
5min action: Warm Up the Car
5min action: Grab the Shake You Made Last Night and Get in the Car
This handy strategy helps you break up long and short-term goals into 5-minute actions. By taking small steps each moment of each day, you can make progress towards your larger goal without feeling overwhelmed. In this article, we will discuss Precision Nutrition's 5-minute action commitment and how you can implement it right away to reach your goals.
How to take a five minute action step:
The first step is identifying your cue. What triggers you to want to eat unhealthy foods or skip your workout? Is it stress, boredom, fatigue, anger, or something else? Once you've identified your cue, the next step is to come up with a routine that will help you overcome that trigger. This could be anything from taking a brisk walk to drinking a glass of water to calling a friend. Finally, identify the reward you'll get for completing your routine. Could it be feeling more energized, losing weight, gaining muscle mass, or something else?
The best part about this strategy is that you can customize it to fit your specific needs. Maybe you have a major goal of losing 30 pounds, but feel overwhelmed about how to get started. Instead of feeling defeated, break up that big goal into smaller goals and take action on those every day. For example, start by setting the intention to walk during lunch at work for five minutes each day this week. If you accomplish that goal, increase the time by one to two minutes next week. Soon you'll find yourself walking for 30-60 minutes per day and making progress towards your larger goal!
PN's five-minute action commitment is a great way to overcome triggers, set small goals, and achieve lasting success. By taking just five minutes each day to focus on yourself and your health, you can make great strides towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. Give it a try!
If you're already working with me, you've likely heard me speak ad nauseum about these 5-minute actions. If you're not working with me, but feel you need some additional support in defining your goals, creating an action plan to achieve them and sticking with it until you've succeeded, schedule a free strategy session so we can discuss the best way I can serve your needs.