We’ve talked about willlpower. What about habits? Once we’ve made our resolve, is there a way we maximise our chances of success by building healthy habits? Turns out that clever bunch at Stanford University have been studying this too.
Our lives, as they are today, are essentially the sum of our habits. I get up every morning go to yoga (still working on that habit) water my garden, have my lemon in hot water, shower, breakfast and so on.
How happy we are (or not) is a result of….you guessed it, our habits.
If you want to change/improve some of your habits, how then do you go about it?
The 3 R’s of habit change
Every habit we have – naughty or nice – follows the same fundamental pattern
- Reminder – the trigger
- Routine – behaviour
- Reward – my favourite bit – benefits.
How to implement it
Getting motivated and trying to remember a new habit is hard. If you’re human, your memory and motivation are going to fail you at some point. Therefore, set a reminder for yourself such as a sticky note on the mirror or an alert on your phone. I move my supplements periodically (especially fridge ones) so that I have to move something to get them.
Decide what you want your new habit to be. Ask yourself, “can I make this behaviour so easy to do that I can’t say no.”
It’s important to remember that lasting change is the product of daily habits, not once in a life-time-transformations. That’s why it’s always nice to start small (10-15 minutes of exercise as opposed to one hour straight up). How small? BJ Fogg (the dude from Stanford Uni) says so small that for example if you wanted to start flossing your teeth, start with just one tooth!
Remember, performance doesn’t matter in the beginning. Just do something, do anything.
It’s important to reward yourself each time you practice your habit. NO, that doesn’t mean hand in the biscuit barrel. You can do this by telling yourself you’ve done a good job. Some people use a verbal cue like “Success, Victory”. I’m a fan of the ‘Huzzah’.
When you reach a milestone – why don’t you come get a massage or go get a facial.