The ORA 90 challenge has started, and many of you are excited to stay accountable over Summer. With this burst of motivation, drive, and passion we need to extend it over three months without losing its luster. Most quests for health and fitness last at most three to four weeks before people start to feel unmotivated and stop.

We need to change your mindset first.

Don’t look at this challenge to become restrictive with how you eat. Don’t think you need to follow some diet you found online or entirely switch your eating to chicken and broccoli on a daily basis.

You won’t last.

For decades, people had this notion in their heads that in order to be successful at weight loss you have to restrict calories, foods they enjoy, and anything in life that seems fun and exciting. For the most part, it’s true; you will see success following strict and rigid guidelines, but what about long-term success?

One statistic out there is the average person will have tried seven diets before they quit altogether or finally find something that works for them.

Why is that?

Placing harsh restrictions on food even with the strongest willpower can only last so long before you snap and end up on an all-out binge. You can probably remember a time where you tried a diet; it’s going well, you go to a social event, try to be good and not be tempted. You obsess about all the food around you that you can’t have, you eventually cave in, but you don’t just have a taste. The deprivation has been building up for some time now, and you end up eating everything in sight.

What’s the solution?

Habit-based nutrition.

Habits are what shapes our day. Our brains run automatically throughout the day, so we are able to obtain new information. Up towards 60% of what we do every day is automatic, meaning you don’t have to think about making your morning coffee each morning, it just happens. Habits are sustainable and challenging to break when they are hard-wired into our brains just like software on a computer responsible for everyday function.

Using the same concept of building a habit and having things running automatically we can integrate our nutrition.

Just remember, habits take about four weeks to develop and stick. You need to have constant practice and patience to see a habit form. A bulletproof way to ensure your success is to choose something easy in the beginning then layer more difficult habits as your progress. Think of building a strong and stable foundation before adding decorative pieces.

Think of one thing you want to focus on for the next four weeks that’s easy and has a high success rate. If you can’t think of anything, here are some suggestions to start with:

– drink more water
– pack lunches for work
– eat more protein
– have one less glass of wine a week
– go to sleep 15 minutes early
– eat more vegetables daily
– have a protein shake daily
– take five minutes to reflect or meditate
– eat slowly
– limit sweets and treats
– less sugar in daily coffee

These might seem simple, but they add up when done in daily practice. The list is simple for a reason; we want you to be successful right off the bat. What’s better motivation than choosing one of the items in the list and completing it every single day with ease? Your drive and passion will continue, and you’ll have a higher success rate to keep going.

Another great tool to help you stay accountable is to create a habit tracker. You can quickly take a calendar and write in your habit you are focusing on and give yourself a giant check mark if completed during the day. As you put more check marks on your calendar, you can visually see your progression. We are visually motivated and the more stimulus we can give ourselves a better chance we will have to keep our momentum going.

Your first step to success is, to begin with, a habit based approach. Pick a habit focused on your nutrition which you will have a high success rate with, practice it, then move onto the next one.

What will your focus be?