- getting up earlier to eat breakfast at home instead of buying an egg and bacon roll on the way to work
- spending more time shopping & cooking, which can cut into other activities
- not going for that mid morning coffee and cake with a friend
- changing the Friday night ritual of beer and pizza
- trying to eat more fruit and vegetables
- not going on that late night Maccas run with your friends
- not having a few glasses of wine and chocolate while watching your favorite TV show
- eating less in general
As you can see this one habit is made up of many different habits, each of which can be quite difficult to change.
1. Don't take on multiple habits at once
Everyone wants to jump into the deep end and start changing everything at once. Research has shown that when you try to change 3 or more habits at once, the chances of keeping these habits for one year are only 5%. When you try to change 2 habits at once this increases to 35%. When you change a single habit your chances of success jump to a massive 85%. Be patient and start with the one habit.
2. Start with a tiny habit
Lets say you never read books and decide you want to start reading everyday. If your plan for forming this new habit was to read for 1 hour everyday, how long do you think you would last with this habit? Maybe a couple of days. Going from zero reading to 1 hour per day would seem like too much and you would be put off even before you started to read. On the other hand, if you planned to read only 2 pages per day, there is a very good chance you would stick this habit. And on most days you would likely end up reading a lot more than 2 pages. After a month or so this habit would be ingrained.
3. Don't keep it a secret
Why would somebody not tell people about their new habit? Because if they fail, then nobody will know and they wont be embarrassed. This is like preparing yourself for failure. Tell your family and friends, put it on Facebook/twitter. Now you are accountable for sticking with this habit.
You need to stick with this new habit at least 90% of the time for it to become ingrained. So if your new habit is to have vegetables with every meal, and you eat 3 meals a day, you need to stick with this for 19 out of your 21 meals in the week.
4. Don't quit after failure
If you slip up, don’t quit. You are human after all and sometimes it’s just not possible to stick to the plan. Just brush yourself off and start again straight away. Don’t plan to start again tomorrow or next week, get back into it straight away.
5. Don’t change focus too soon
Often we’ll form a new habit for a week or so, then move onto something else. But the first habit won’t be ingrained yet. Stick with the habit for 30 days before making any more major changes
6. Know your obstacles
Figure out what obstacles will hamper your new habit, and be prepared for them. If you are trying to eat healthy and your obstacle is socialising and going out for dinner, there are couple of things you can do to be prepared:
- you can try and choose restaurants that you know have some healthy dishes
- if its a restaurant you haven't been to before, have a look at their website to see if they have a menu. You can then take the time to see what the healthiest options are
- have a healthy snack, like a bowl of vegetable soup, before going out. This way you wont be starving and tempted to reach for the garlic bread
Check out my healthy eating habits pages and put put these habit tips to work:
If you like this post please click on the Facebook 'like' button below. If you have any questions or comments you can post them below by clicking on the "Add Comment" link.