Small habits lead to long-lasting results.
Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. – James Clear
Habits are something I’ve talked quite a bit about before, but with good reason. The quote above by James Clear is not only extremely straightforward, but it is also undoubtedly true. The life you are living today is due to either the sum of good habits, bad ones, or a little bit of both. If you’re a 5 Star Executive, it’s because every day you woke up and you worked hard at your business. If you’re overweight, it’s because you’ve made many unhealthy decisions throughout your life. Whatever the case may be, and whether the result is good or bad, where you are today is because of your habits.
“What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.”
The great news is, good habits can be created to replace bad ones. The bad news is that you will have to work at building good habits every day. And soon enough, exercising and saying no to unhealthy food will be as easy as turning on your television set when you get home. But just like it took time to build bad habits, it will take some time to build good ones.
“Lasting change is a product of daily habits, not onceinalifetime transformations.”
The key to creating and sticking to good habits is to start small. If your goal is to get in shape, the new habit you need to create is to exercise more. However, setting a goal of exercising 3 times a week is too big of a goal when you’re just beginning; you’re almost setting yourself up for failure. You can’t be expected to work out 3 days a week if you haven’t worked out once in the last 3 years. Going to the gym every day is not a habit easy created. An easier habit to create is simply to move more and slowly work toward your goal of working out 3 times a week.
Think about the things you do every day without a hesitation: You brush your teeth, shower, eat, drive to work, etc. Author James Clear suggests that coupling a new habit with something you do every day can be an incredibly easy way to stick to habits. It can be as easy as doing 20 squats every day while you are brushing your teeth or every time you start a new show on Netflix. You don’t ever have to be reminded to brush your teeth, but you do have to be reminded to exercise. So, by coupling a new habit with something you do every day, it can become easier to stick to the new habit.
Remember, achieving great things takes time and hard work. Don’t overwhelm yourself with big goals. Take your time and think about how you can be successful. What small thing can you do every day to create change that will become life-long habits? To read more about creating healthy habits, check out our previous blog “Find Your Motivation, Create Habits, and Change Your Life.” If you’re ready to transform your health, the Better Health Now Challenge can help you improve your nutritional habits. Become the person that doesn’t need to be reminded to move or make healthy choices. Make them habits!