Last week we talked about how our environment could basically make or break our healthy habits; the people we surrond ourselves with, our home life, what we're consuming online, etc. Although we do have control over these things, it's important to recognize that it's either very easy to get out of healthy habits and/or hard to create new ones if our overall environment is not conducive to them.
First, you need to realize that you have the power to make your surrondings work for you. It might take a little effort at first, but after awhile, it becomes second nature. So, if you wish you had more will-power, you need to change your environment and make it work for you, not against you. In one of my favorite books on habits, Atomic Habits, the author James Clear talks about creating cues. So, how do we do that? By creating easy and convenient prompts for us to make better decisions in the moment. On the flipside, we can even make it harder on ourselves to make those less desirable choices.
One healthy cue that helps me a TON is setting out my gym clothes the night before. I wake up early to work out, and when my alarm clock goes off, any reason is reason enough to not get out of bed. But, if I make it easy on myself by taking that extra step the night before, it's one less thing I have to do or think about when I get up. Believe it or not, this one SIMPLE step makes a HUGE difference for me.
Pay attention to your environment. For example, if you would like to cut back on mindless eating but you have cookies, chips or other tempting foods out in the open, then make those foods invisible! I'm not saying throw them away, but don't leave them on the counter or have them eye level in your pantry. You could even buy individual size bags so you know you're only having one portion, instead of a Costco size bag when it's hard to determine how much you actually ate.
Another idea from Atomic Habits is called "habit stacking." Think about all the things you already do on a daily basis that you don't actually think about; brushing your teeth, taking a shower, using the bathroom, making coffee. Can you attach a healthy habit to something you already do? For example, if you have a hard time remembering to take your vitamins, leave them in a glass by your sink so when you're done brushing your teeth you put them in your mouth, fill the glass with water and take them. If you want to increase your water intake, invest in a cute water bottle that makes you happy! Depending on the size, give yourself a goal amount of how much you want to drink each day. Maybe get a few small ones and leave them in places you frequent the most - your desk, car, bed? If you want to get more movement in, can you do some squats or stretching while you wait for your coffee to brew? It doesn't have to be complicated, just make it as easy as possible on yourself so you actually do the thing. Get creative and combine what you already do, with what you want to do!
As always, I'd love to help if you'd like more guidance, accountability or support around this. You can schedule your free call below.
Ali Naglee Wellness
Certifed Holistic Health Coach