When it comes to creating new and positive habits, your brain is not on your side. I just finished reading Chip and Dan Heath’s book Switch, which takes a lot of the mystery out of why it’s so hard for people to change habits, and breaks down how to create changes when that’s the last thing we want to do as humans. They also provide a surefire way to hack into your brain and make it easy to do the things that you dread/don’t relish doing!
The biggest thing that I’ve learned recently is that not everyone is a terrible person that hates their body, wants to eat at McDonald’s every day and drink a gallon of soda with a heaping teaspoon of meth on top. For the most part, we are ll in the same boat, either misguided on WHAT we need to do, or just not in a place that allows us to do it.
I say this, and the last thing I want is for you too feel like I’m letting you off the hook for your bad behavior. Nope. I still think that having that double pork-rind gordita supreme with extra mayo was disgusting, and I hate you for it.
So without going into tons of detail, because details are super boring, and you’re most likely ramped up on caffeine while you read this and are skipping every other line anyways, here’s the brief version.
You want to change your eating/exercise habits so you can look great naked
It’s hard to do that, when the rest of your routine stays the same i.e. same shopping patterns (moms, I’m looking at you), same schedule, same dinner appointments, etc.
You need to build a habit for the lifestyle you want into your day, like gym time, running, prepping meals, etc
People say that it takes somewhere between 21 and 30 days to make a habit, depending on who you ask. You’re busy and want results now.
The key is ACTION TRIGGERS.
Before you go to bed, you decide “After I drop of kids at school, I will go to the gym“. “After I go shopping on Sunday, I will make my meals for Monday -Thursday“. “As soon as I wake up, I will put on my 1970’s red white and blue track suit, and step outside for a jog”.
When you set these triggers, you have already decided that they will happen, and it takes way less self control to actually do them. Because you know that after Laura goes to daycare, you are heading straight to the gym. Harder to mess up than some abstract goal like “I will work out tomorrow”. it is SOOOOO EASY to blow that one off, like I did yesterday.
By putting yourself on Auto-Pilot, you set yourself up to succeed at your goals.
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