Welcome to 2015. Is this going to be the year you achieve your health goals? Or does every year begin with good intentions, yet you never obtain your desired result? Then you need to take a different approach. Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity! To conquer your goals, learn how to effectively adjust your habits.

A habit is an action or series of actions we perform in a subconscious manner. Have you ever driven home or to work and then had no recollection of the ride? Do you unwittingly walk the supermarket aisles in the exact same order? Our minds become conditioned to doing things in a certain way. This can be a good thing because our daily routine becomes somewhat effortless.

However, negative actions can also become habits, and that makes them extremely difficult to change. How many times have you tried to adopt an exercise program, quit smoking or lose weight? It takes between 21-30 days to form a new habit. Until then, it takes consistent effort and focus.

When trying to break a bad habit, substitute it for a good habit. Otherwise you’ll feel restless, deprived and gravitate back to the bad habit again to fill the void. For example, do you always buy sweet popcorn, chocolates and a fizzy drink at the movies? Instead, buy water and snack on nuts. At first, the new habit may not seem like an adequate substitute but with consistent reinforcement you will let go of the old habit.

When trying to adopt a new habit, you may need to place visible reminders at your desk, on the refrigerator or on the bathroom mirror. Remember that your mind is accustomed to not thinking about exercise. It will take some focused attention to change that.

It is important to have patience as you work on changing your habits. No one is perfect, and you will probably have days where you don’t meet your goals. The most difficult aspect of forming new habits is becoming aware of the automatic actions we take each day and making a conscious decision to change them.

Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Change is a very individually specific process. If you don’t know where to start or are tired of trying and failing, then try something new this year. Don’t do the same thing and expect a different result.

Phil is a health practitioner and expert in body transformation. His services are available at Star Fitness (Starfitnesssaigon.com), online or at your home. Contact him though his website Phil-kelly.com or Facebook.com/BodyExpertSystemVietnam.