Want to rely more on your systems than on willpower when changing habits?
First thing to consider. Does your environment support your goals?
Your life’s social, physical and scheduled structures shape your desires, behaviours, and thoughts in ways we aren’t always aware of.
It either supports or hinders your health, often without us even noticing.
A simple example, and something everyone can relate to, especially as we age: if you always lose your keys, come up with a spot they’ll always live in. And ensure your path from the front door passes that spot.
We adjust our behaviour without even realizing it, and those minor tweaks can add up to making a new habit easier because the environment is designed to make that habit succeed.
Here are a few examples:
- If you’d like to start running early, find a morning person to run with. (And drink a big glass of water before you sleep so your bladder kicks you out of bed.)
- If you struggle with snacking, stock your kitchen with nutritious options and minimize the presence of unhealthy snacks or put the sweet snacks on the shelf you can only reach with a step ladder.
- If you have trouble winding down at night, dim the lights an hour before bed, shut off all electronic screens, or put those devices in another room altogether.
- If you want to watch less TV, cancel the cable. Or make it inconvenient to watch — put the TV in an uncomfortable spot or get rid of your couch (okay, I know that’s a big one.)
- If you’re trying to remember to drink more water, fill up a water bottle and keep it beside you or use my elastic band method as a reminder of how much you have consumed.
Yes, these changes can seem silly, even too small to matter.
But that’s the point. We don’t even see the environmental changes.
If you shape the path towards healthier choices, healthier choices are more manageable.
If your environment doesn’t change, you probably won’t either.
Once your environment supports your goals, you will feel a sense of happiness, accomplishment, and, ultimately, better health.
Today, do some small thing to alter your social or physical environment and scheduled routine — the structures of your life — to make some useful or productive change.
Your coach and friend,
PS: Whenever you are ready, here are three more ways I can help you PLAY for life:
- Click here to grab a copy or listen to the Audible version of The Play Book: How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health
- Join the FREE 7-Days of Healthy Habits Course that can help you starting today.
- Want to work with me personally on your health while having fun? Click here to book a call.