Can’t Make Good Habits Stick? You’re Probably Making One Of These 3 Mistakes.
If we know what’s good for us, why are good habits so hard to make? In this episode of The Love Destination Expert Series, Behavioural Specialist and Author of The How of Habits Bri Williams reveals why creating new habits is so hard and why most of us give up right before that good habit sticks.
So why are good habits so hard to make?
“It’s frustrating, isn’t it? We know what we should do and yet we don’t do it. We know that we should eat well, exercise, be mindful, and nurture the relationships that are important to us. Knowing what we SHOULD do doesn’t mean we will.” said Behavioural Specialist and Author of The How of Habits Bri Williams
Here are the three mistakes your making that make it hard for good habits to stick.
You Rely On Your Motivation
“The first mistake we make is relying on motivation. Everyone will say “Just do it, and if you believe you can do it.” Well, that’s just not the case. Motivation, if you think of it like a wave, it goes up and down. You’ll say “This is the week, I’m going to go running every morning this week”, and then you find yourself tucked up in bed, it’s Monday morning, your alarm goes off, what do you do? You hit the snooze before you thought about it. So we can’t rely on motivation” reveals
“This really hit home to me” said Bri Williams. “I was reading a study of heart attack victims. Heart attack victims- they’ve had the world’s biggest wake-up call, haven’t they. They’ve almost lost their lives so their motivation to change is gone through the roof! But then six months later, 50% of them had fallen back into unhealthy lifestyle habits; the third were still above blood pressure and 10% still smoked. So if you think, these people had a big wake-up call and we’re just trying to eat better and run in the mornings, that sort of thing. So we’ve got to work out ways of tricking ourselves so that we don’t rely on motivation.”
We Prioritize What We Want In The Short Term Over The Future
Bri Williams reveals that “Another thing that we have to grapple with when we’re thinking about our good habits, we have two versions of ourselves: there’s “now” I and there’s “future” me. “Now” me is tired and wants to sit on the couch and eat ice cream, and “future” me can go on a diet and “future” I can run. “Now” me wants to buy shoes, “future” I can worry about our money. And so that’s another problem, we can’t make habits easily because constantly, “now” me is squashing “future” me. So that’s another problem we’ve got to deal with.”
You Give Up Too Soon Because Making New Habits Takes Effort
Making habits is hard. It’s exhausting” says Bri Williams. “When you have to make a habit and you’re trying to stomp down the grass so that you can create a new neuropathway in the brain. The first thing, you’ve got to really walk out where you’re going to step and push that grass down so that you can find a pathway. That’s how it is with a habit. When you’re trying to change your brain, you’re trying to walk out a new way of having your behaviour mapped. The first time you’re trying to do something, it’s going to take a lot of energy but every time after that, easy. So when it comes to good habits, we know what we should do, the question is knowing how. And we need to develop strategies so that we can make them easily.”
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