November 9th, 2016 | Product News

#DifferentTrack: Choose Your Journey

Count them up - how many of your bad habits formed from repeated choices? We’re launching #DifferentTrack to call out the everyday paths we take that lead to bad habits, resulting in overall unhealthy lifestyles. Our daily choices seem small in the moment, but when we track them we find that they have the biggest impact on our lives. After all, our decisions lead to actions, our actions form habits, and our habits make up our lifestyle. When you track them down, are you proud of the paths you take?

Let’s kick off the movement for #DifferentTrack with a few steps.

Step 1: Keep track of your daily decisions. 

To make it easier, divide up your routine into categories. We picked Nutrition, Activity, and Sleep. Keep track of the decisions you make, and be conscious of the ones you may mindlessly default to. For instance:

  • Activity: Take the stairs, or the elevator?

  • Nutrition: Make lunch, or eat cake from last night?

  • Sleep: Watch another episode on Netflix, or muster the willpower to close out before midnight?

Step 2: Track these choices for a week.

If it recurs, ask yourself how many of these decisions are made out of habit. Your mind is always looking for ways to cut corners by "chunking" sequences of actions into automatic routines. That's the power of habit.

To cut out bad habits, find their source. Break them down and identify the Cue, Routine, and Reward:

  • Cue: What's causing your brain to go into automatic mode and fall into routine? For our Nutrition example, it's sugar cravings.

  • Routine: What are you thinking, feeling, or doing after this cue? Following a sugar craving, this could be rummaging the fridge or finding a vending machine.

  • Reward: A feel-good stimulus that tells your brain to remember the routine. After eating cake, your brain may interpret the sugar-high as a reward. 

    But as we know, sugar-highs are temporary and rewards can be deceiving.

The feedback loop makes it easy to form bad habits. But on the bright side, you can also use this it to your advantage. Reinforce good habits by establishing a new, healthy routine!

Step 3: Make changes.

Are these paths you’re proud of, and are they habits you want to keep? How can you make your life better by fixing these different tracks? Preparation is the key to success, so help yourself out. Make it easy for yourself by prepping in areas where you can.

Prevent nomming on cake by keeping cut fruit in your fridge, it’ll make it easy to reach for something healthy when that sugar craving hits. Prevent 3am Netflix binges before it happens by disabling Autoplay. Set step goals for yourself every morning to provide incentive to walk and take the stairs. A few moments of preparation can be key to long-term success.

Step 4: Once you’ve written down changes, tie them into a broader goal.

Ever wonder why we fall off the wagon with New Year Resolutions? We make the mistake of setting goals that are too vague (“ie: lose weight and feel better”). We don’t tie these broad goals into something concrete and relevant to our day-to-day lives. By working backwards, from our daily routines to our goals, we’re able to set these resolutions into something more comprehensive, foreseeable, and immediately doable. 

  • Daily Change: Take the stairs daily

  • Goal: Walk up the stairs without running out of breath

  • Daily Change: Meal prep for lunch and dinner everyday

  • Goal: Learn to make 100 healthy recipes

  • Daily Change: Watch only one episode of Netflix a night

  • Goal: Stop waking up tired

Before you know it, you’ll reach your goals because you made it easy for yourself to hit daily targets

Step 5: Monitor your excuses.

There comes a time in every journey where we go astray. It’s important not to let one incident of binge-watching Netflix or eating cake for breakfast throw off you off for good. Don’t fall for all-or-nothing thinking, one slice of cake won’t undo weeks of healthy eating. If your brain tells you otherwise, remind yourself you’ve got bigger goals to meet and pull yourself back on track.

Some common excuses to watch out for:

  • “I’ll start my diet when I feel better.”

  • “I’m so sore today, I’ll take the stairs next time.”

  • “I’ll start working out around next week, it’s more convenient.”

How often do you make these excuses on a day-to-day basis?

Remember, the best time to start bettering yourself is always NOW. When the excuses hit, just say NO. It always helps to keep your greater goal in mind and look back on how far you’ve come. If you think you’ll fail, you most likely will. If you believe in yourself, you’re already halfway there. Have faith and remember - motivation is a muscle that needs to be exercised too! As long as you think you can achieve, you will.

Step 6: Stay On Track with a Supportive Community.

We’re here for you. We know staying focused and motivated is easier with a support system or friend who has your back.

Join our movement by tagging #DifferentTrack on social media. Show us the changes you’re making - big or small - towards a better tomorrow and healthier you. Let’s keep track together, staying focused and motivated is easier with a support system. If you tag us, we’ll be happy to give you some encouragement in any way we can!

Our goal every day is to lay each brick as perfectly as we can. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your dream lifestyle won’t be either. Stay conscious of the choices you make, the paths you take, and one day you’ll look up to find you’ve laid enough bricks to form a wall. That wall is the foundation of your home, a better version of yourself. Once you’re living in that home, maintenance and good habits will come easy. 

#DifferentTrack is about being mindful of the day-to-day decisions and moments that culminate into something greater. Today, you woke up tired. Tomorrow could be different. Now that you’re keeping track, it will be.

Choose to be better than you were yesterday. Keep moving forward, and we'll be with you every step of the way!

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Linda Cheng, Social Media and Content Manager

Linda graduated from the University of California, Irvine with three majors in Psychology, Urban Studies, and Social Ecology, as well as a minor in Global Sustainability. Her goal is to promote sustainable healthy living by providing the resources needed for success. Using smart data services and motivational psychology, she aims to move users towards long-term lifestyle changes for better health and fitness.