The impact habits have on your healthy lifestyle.
Habits are one of the five key areas of MindWork (link to 5 key areas) and plays a major role in whether or not you’ll not you’ll succeed at losing weight, sticking to a diet or exercise routine, or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What are habits?
You probably already know what habits are…
After repeatedly doing the same activity, over and over, your mind steps in and does it on autopilot.
Remember when you first learned to drive? You had to think about every tiny detail…
Accelerating, braking, steering, keeping the car between the lines and watching out for traffic signs and dangers – Every detail required your complete attention.
The first time you learned to drive, it was a pretty scary experience right?
And now, it’s all effortless. You get in a car, you turn on the ignition, you steer and accelerate without even thinking about it.
Driving has become a habit.
You may not realise it, your life is made up of hundreds of tiny habits. Riding a bike, walking, eating, swimming, typing, brushing your teeth…
These are all things that you had to learn. And now they come effortlessly.
To put it simply, habits are routines that your mind does for you, so that you can focus on other things.
You don’t have to spend time or effort carefully monitoring what you do in these situations.
However, habits can also work against you. Especially with goals like losing weight, eating a healthy diet or exercising.
You see, once habits are formed, they can be difficult to break…
If you try and change a habit, your mind is going to fight you.
You see, your mind likes predictability. It feels safe when it knows what is happening next. This is wired into your biology. I cover this concept in more detail here.
You can’t get more predictable or safe than habits.
Let’s say you have gotten into the habit of eating ice-cream after dinner.
Then one day, you decide you want to eat better. You stop eating ice-cream for dessert.
It should be a simple task, right? I mean, if you think about it, not eating a bowl of ice-cream should hardly be a challenge.
Nope. Your mind is going to try and trick you into eating that ice-cream.
It’s going to use cravings, it’s going to convince you that one spoon won’t hurt. It’s going to make you feel bad if you don’t eat it…
And before you know it, you are shovelling ice-cream into your mouth. You don’t even know how you got here.
It’s like a game of tug-of-war. And your mind usually wins.
But if you can go one day without it. Then another. And another. Your mind begins to lose it’s hold.
Keep it up long enough and you won’t even think about ice-cream after dinner. You are now in the habit of going without it.
And here’s the weirdest part…
Your mind is going to start to like this new routine. It’s going to enjoy not eating ice-cream after dinner.
But your battle isn’t over yet. You know the saying:
“Old habits die hard”
Well, it’s true. The longer you have been doing a habit, the harder it will be to break. And if you do break it, relapse is more likely.
This is why it’s so hard to change your diet after years of unhealthy eating.
Even though you want better, your mind doesn’t. It wants more of the same.This is your mind using habits against you!
You cannot stick to a diet, keep an exercise routine or lose weight while your mind is using habits against you.
The habit Scale
Strong – Normal – weak
Think of your habits as being on a scale….
On the one end of the scale you have:
Your habits overpower you and are almost impossible to break. If there is the chance of fulfilling your bad habit, you’ll do it no matter what.
You are trying to cut down eating biscuits. You know you can’t trust yourself to have them in the house. So, you don’t buy your usual that week. You end up eating the biscuits that were for your kid’s school lunches.
On the flipside you have:
Your habits are not strong enough to stop to support your healthy lifestyle. Example:
You’ve made a new-years resolution to get healthy and lose weight. This will be the year. This time it will be different. You sign up for that new gym membership. It’s now March and you haven’t gone to the gym yet – despite paying your monthly fee.
The more the scale tips in one direction or the other, the more your habits will work against you.
In order for you to achieve your healthy lifestyle, you want to balance this scale. The more balanced your habits are, the more likely it is that you will succeed.
Otherwise, your mind will use your habits as an excuse to throw in the towel – to get you to give up on your diet or exercise routine.
The closer you are to the middle of the scale, the more likely it is that you will succeed in your goals. And that’s exactly why you want to balance your habits.
Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose where you sit on the habit scale. Your mind has done this for you, using a whole variety of life experiences since you were born.
Your habits become so deeply ingrained in your life that you might not even know that they are causing you problems – much less how to overcome them.
Your habits are specific to you. They were shaped by your upbringing, your environment and your biology. No one else will have the exact same habits as you.
To put it simply, your habits are unique to you. And to balance them, you need a unique solution, one that is tailored just for you.
That’s where MindWork comes in.
MindWork focuses on identifying and balancing your habits.
Through one-on-one support, advice and strategies, you can balance your habits once and for all.
Never again will your habits cause you to:
- Give up on your diet
- Eat ice-cream instead of losing weight
- Choose watching netflix over exercise
Are you ready to build strong, positive habits that will see you stick your weight loss goals, diet and exercise routines?
MindWork is the first step to living the healthy lifestyle you always dreamed of?