How to Let Go of Old Habits and Break Into the New You (Fitbit)

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(Article originally published on Fitbit.com)

Ugh. You know the feeling: the mounting dread, the creeping anxiety, the little voice in your head that scoffs, that says you can’t. Ugh… Here comes another New Year’s fitness commitment.

Maybe you’ve broken one before. Maybe you’ve broken 30. But you’re back at the starting line, again, and you’re here because you know this is the step you need to take for the life you want to live.

You want to feel good in your body. You want it to take you to new levels of satisfaction in your work, play, and personal life. And you want it so bad you’re willing to face the humiliation of failure. Again.

You are brave. With your courage (and your Fitbit tracker!), you have the basics for crushing your fitness goals. But it’s not enough to simply have the tools, you need to know that your odds of of triumphant success is 100%. Really. Here’s how you’re going to rock your New Year’s intentions in 2017:

Start an Affirmation Practice

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Carl Rogers

Most people fall off their fitness wagon because they aren’t secure in themselves. Many people are so intent on being something greater, they forget to accept, acknowledge, and encourage their current bodies.

“I’ll be positive when I’ve worked all this flab off,” you might think, when in this moment, the moment in which you have resolved to improve, you need the positivity now more than ever.

If you don’t think you’re worthy of support, you won’t give it to yourself, and you won’t reach your goals. But you can change your fate in an instant with one decision: begin an affirmation routine.

Use Affirmations to Achieve Your Goals

Like the famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used to say, affirmations work whether you believe in them or not. And here’s a little secret: you’re practicing affirmations this very moment. Your subconscious mind is a constant wave of affirmations, but if you don’t know what those are, chances are, they’re sabotaging your fitness efforts.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Carl Jung

So start reprogramming your affirmations by saying them out loud, every day, in front of a mirror, with spirit and intensity, until you believe you’re the very thing you want. It’s only a matter of time and practice.

Practicing affirmations will make you unshakeable; they’ll renew your confidence. And they’ll help you accept each version of yourself on the way to becoming better—and fitter—which is a lifelong journey.

Customize Your Affirmations

“I am confident, courageous, bold, accepting, resilient, capable, disciplined, perseverant, reliable, grateful, hopeful, honest, realistic, patient, joyful, energetic, organized, focused, creative, confident, adventurous, encouraging, inspiring, flexible, fit, and entirely accepting of me. Right now. And for as long as I live.”

This is just a small sample of the positive traits you should be flooding yourself with daily. For best results, customize your affirmations to strengthen your weaknesses.

If you’ve had trouble finding the energy to work out, you might use a template like this:

“I am healthy, vibrant, energetic, and committed. I eat the right foods and get enough sleep so that I’m energized and motivated to complete my goals. Whatever I want to do, I make it happen. I feel so good about myself because I work hard to be the happiest and healthiest version of me.”

Wake Up with Your Affirmations

It’s best to recite your affirmations as soon as you get up in the morning. The routine can be hard, especially if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, feeling down about yourself. But if you commit to it, if you find the grit to give yourself the support you need in the morning, the habit of encouraging yourself will become natural, and the choice to be positive will seem easier throughout the day. Essentially, you’ll train your brain to look for the best in yourself at every turn of the day.

It sets you up to be mentally prepared to bring your best effort to all of your activities. And by the time 5:00pm comes along, or whenever you can fit in a major step session or a workout, you’ll be motivated and ready. You’ll feel even better after killing it in the gym, or out on the sidewalks, and your attitude of affirmations will make it easy to congratulate yourself for the hard work you’ve done. That’s when you’ll see explosive results.

Start your affirmation routine today. Commit to it in the morning before work, right after lunch, before you slip into bed, and anytime you start to feel down on yourself.

Stick with this little habit and you’ll achieve your fitness goals. And, even better than that, you’ll become the person you were born to be.

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