Habits of Transformation

Author: Kendall Riggan, Collegiate Edu-Nation AmeriCorps Program Director

The way you look, feel, and perform right now is a reflection of what you do consistently – your habits.  In order to change the way you look, feel, or perform, you must change your habits.

As a fitness and nutrition coach, my professional responsibility has been to help my clients identify their habits and transform those habits to get them closer to their goals: to help them look, feel, or perform better. “Perform” for most of my clients means athletically in some capacity, but, for the rest of us, perform simply means “do life.” It could mean improving our long-term health, building better personal and/or professional relationships, or improving effectiveness in a chosen career.

So, what is the way you look, feel, and perform telling you? What is the way your school (or district) looks, feels, and performs telling you? What area needs attention? What is happening consistently, either intentionally or unintentionally, that is contributing negatively?

Your challenge is to use those questions to identify ONE thing that needs attention and stay committed to changing that ONE thing until it’s been mastered.

For a nutrition client who drinks Sweet Tea every day, we will work to transition her to Unsweet Tea. We won’t go cold-turkey. That isn’t sustainable. We will take baby steps and start with ¾c Sweet Tea and ¼c  Unsweet Tea. Once that becomes tolerable, we will switch to ½ and ½ and we’ll stick to that until it becomes tolerable, before moving to ¼ Sweet and ¾ Unsweet. Then, Unsweet with a splash of Sweet, and finally Unsweet Tea.

For some people, this process takes days, for others, it takes weeks. The time doesn’t matter. Time is going to pass anyway and you’ll either be closer to, or further from your goal. For a client having one Route 44 Sweet Tea a day, we will be saving her 2800 calories per day. Making just that ONE change will cause her to lose almost one pound per week!

So, what ONE habit, pattern, or routine can be adjusted immediately and consistently? Pick the low-hanging fruit, the easiest habit you can think of. Take one baby step. Give up ¼ of your Sweet Tea. Identify the habit, then commit to reducing, eliminating, or replacing it so that you’re moving one step closer to your goal personally, professionally, or in your school/district.

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