When you are recovering from a heart attack or trying to prevent heart disease there are only two things that you need to change in your lifestyle:
- What you put in you mouth
- How much you move
Now you would think that if you have only got two things to remember, then heart disease would be on the decline. But these are two of the hardest lifestyle changes to stick to.
If you are honest with yourself it comes down to habit. After a couple of months, the initial motivation that the heart attack gave you to do something about you lifestyle starts to have less impact on your life. Then one day you have that extra portion, or you decide to sit and watch television instead of doing your exercise. The next day you will probably get back on track, but, if you go more than two or three days without exercising you will find it easier and easier to slip back into your old ways.
Your old way of life was just a habit. The types of food you ate, the quantity of food you ate, the lack of exercise were all just habits. So, if you can turn your new lifestyle into a habit then you will not even have to think about it.
The good news is that psychologists have shown that for something to become a habit, it only takes 30 days. If you do something every day for 30 days, you will have established it as a new habit. What seems like a massive effort and chore in the early days becomes something that you don’t even have to think about if you can just get through those 30 days.
So how are you going to get yourself to stick to your new lifestyles for those crucial 30 days?
Well the only person that can motivate you, is you!
You are motivated by two things – either things that you want (health) or things that you don’t want (to die from a heart attack).
So instead of thinking of these lifestyle changes as a chore that some doctor has told you that you must do, change your focus and think about all the great things that will come from being healthy and use the fear that you experienced when you had a heart attack or were diagnosed with heart disease, to make sure you do whatever it takes change your lifestyle.