Dictate Your Nutrition Identity

As you head into the second week of the New Year you may find yourself fighting for the changes, goals, and resolutions that you set for yourself last week. One week in you are realizing that change is hard. You might be struggling already to maintain progress. A couple of excuses may have already popped up preventing you from getting to a workout or from making a healthy decision about your food. You’re not alone and I’m here to encourage you to keep on fighting.

Making positive changes in life requires ditching the old to make room for the new. The challenge is when the old habits are part of how we identify ourselves as a person. When the old has a strangle-hold on who we see ourselves as, they’ll keep tugging and tugging to draw us back in. There are a number of things that must happen in order to get a new habit or resolution to stick. One of the most important things that must happen is the shift of our personal identity around the habit or ideal.

Shifting our identity around something will require that we look at ourselves and speak to ourselves differently and also take full responsibility for our actions, eliminating passive actions and engaging in each decision we make.

Changing how we see ourselves is crucial. We all look in the mirror every day. We all have an internal dialogue that we go through when we see what we see. Change the dialogue. Tell yourself what you want to be and what you want to see. Tell yourself, “I am the type of person that…..” Never skips a workout. Only keeps healthy food at their house. Does not let others decisions determine their own. Doesn’t need alcohol to relax at night. The list goes on. Change your visual identity around your resolution. Even if you feel silly, hop in front of that accountability mirror and say the things that you want, out loud even. Ditch the old identity and grab the one you want.

We also must ditch the way we speak to ourselves and to others. Find a positive spin on all things related to your new habit or goal. “I have to” statements add stress and negativity to our speech. Stress and negativity signals us to not want to do something. Change your speech to “I get to” go to the gym. Eat this healthy and nutritious meal. Wind down and go to bed early so I can feel great tomorrow. “I get to” puts you in charge of your life. You are running your life not letting life happen to you.

Finally, use this one question to take responsibility for every decision that presents itself throughout the day. “What is this going to do for me?” Food, exercise, time with people. When we take a 10 second action to think about each decision before making one, we become more aware of all the effects of that decision. When we’re aware we can make better decisions instead of habitual ones. When we’re trying to build new habits and break old, this time to think is crucial otherwise the old habits will rear their heads. “What will this do for me” causes us to be active instead of passive and forces us to take full responsibility for everything we do.

Stay in the fight. Never give up on yourself but be kind as well. Use these strategies until your new habits become automatic. See you at the top.

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