3 Healthy Habits That Are Hardest To Get To Stick (And How To Get Them To)Jun 13, 2023
Healthy habits! Habitual happiness! Holistic health! There is so much to explore in the wellness space, but at the heart of it all is a clear intention to make better choices for yourself from one moment to the next. Doing so consistently creates those sought after sustainable healthy habits, which have the potential to transform the way you live. In spite of this, some habits are notoriously difficult to get to stick. If you know what to expect going in, it makes it easier to navigate the challenge of getting them to. So let’s dive right in.
Consistent Movement During the Week
Finding different ways of moving your body is no longer the challenge it used to be. Before the pandemic, this was largely dictated by the area you live in, your access to resources, weather patterns and so forth. Technology has made it possible to get moving from your own living room through something as simple as a YouTube fitness class or remote yoga session. The challenge? Consistent movement during the week. Work stress can throw off any wellness routine. A spontaneous invitation for a coffee can quickly trump a plan to go on a brisk walk through the neighbourhood. Moving regularly is a challenge for everyone, but especially so in the midst of a hectic weekday routine.
I’ve long been an advocate for mindfulness, and the importance it has within a plan for sustained good mental health. Real talk: a regular mindfulness practice is one of the hardest things for me personally to maintain, even if I tell myself that I only need to do a couple of minutes of meditation at a time. Meditating can be done pretty much anywhere, although it helps to create the right conditions to do it. *Daily* meditation, however, is another beast entirely. It does get easier the longer you do it, but before then, it requires a commitment that acknowledges its importance as an essential tool (not just one of the tools) in your wellness practice.
Food: The Healthy vs. Easy Choice
I love a good healthy meal, but man oh man, sometimes it’s just easier to grab something on the go and deal with my guilt later. Healthy eating is a habit that forms from consistently making the decision to go with the often harder choice for your next meal. That’s not to say you can’t treat yourself, and it’s “do or die” in order to get healthy eating right. If you can aim for making smart decisions 80% of the time, you’ll reap all the benefits of doing so while still leaving wiggle room for the occasional pizza party. Train your brain to appreciate that you even have access to healthy food (so many people don’t), and take it one decision at a time - you’ll get there in the end!
The “Lowest Hanging Fruit” Approach
Getting these tricky habits to stick requires what I call the “lowest hanging fruit” approach (something that often comes up in my coaching sessions with clients). All it requires is for you to know and action the natural next step when you realise you’ve stumbled on any of them. What makes it the easiest to get back on track? For movement, it could be putting on your takkies right away and walking around the block (even just one). Get back on the mindfulness horse by doing five minutes at a fixed time for the next three days at least. For food habits, what’s the easiest meal for you to throw together (avo on toast? A go-to smoothie?) to steady the ship? These all give you time to regroup, with room to decide on what you want to do the next day to keep the momentum going.
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