• Elaine Seale Mckend

Building Habits

Updated: Jan 19

Habits are a method for achieving results, they can build you up or set you down.

Many of us have struggled during the recent year to hold on to the things that keep us on track with our health and wellbeing. When our routines are interrupted building back those healthy habits can just seem too difficult to confront.

The challenge is getting started particularly when often the short-term rewards for things that aren’t good for us are stronger than the longer-term outcomes of our behaviour. Like the sweet treat we have to cheer us up, it feels good initially but the longer-term consequences of eating the wrong food over time can have repercussions that we can fail to respond to in the moment.

So how do I try and ‘trick’ myself into that good behaviour and how can you use the same strategy. Like going to the gym when it's dark and cold in the mornings? Well, the trick is to set up the environment so you are triggered to do the right thing rather than the wrong thing. Making 10 or 12 small choices that help us be carried along in the right direction – packing healthy snacks to take to work the night before, filling up water bottles, buying high protein snacks rather than high calorie treats, and of course setting an alarm that is out of reach so you are forced to get up! These core habits become critical to our wellbeing. Then it’s holding on to the feeling of stimulation you get after a gym session, run, swim or cycle and placing that foremost in your mind when you are struggling to make the right choice.

James Clear a habit specialist recommends starting small so rather than promising yourself to run an hour a day start with 20 minutes 3 times in a week or fast-paced walking to build up towards a bigger goal. It's easier to establish small things rather than trying to go too quickly too fast and ‘falling off the bus’.

Remember small stimulus creates growth, Stress + Rest = Growth
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