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Three Habit Change Hacks for Success

Habits are the the activities that we do throughout the day that move us toward or away from our goals. If we choose our habits well, we can greatly enhance the qualitiy of our lives and maximize our health. As a health and life coach, I work with people to examine goals and create habits that move people towards their goals.

There are ways to increase the liklihood that a person will follow through with a goal. Mind you, this has nothing to do with the way a person feels about a goal. Someone may really feel excited about losing weight or feel very determined to quit smoking. But feelings just do not translate into behaviors. We all know that people break their promises to themselves daily becuase they feel motivated and then they don't, or the motivation to choose a negative behavior has a greater short term reward. SO what is the catch? There are many tips for accomplishing goals, even when we don't feel like it. I will share three: Mel Robbins' Five Seond Rule, Chunking and Stacking Habits.

The Five Second Rule, created by life coach Mel Robbins, recognizes that our brains are quick to talk us out of good behaviors and justify poor choices. Scientifically, given more than five seconds of lag time between when a thought emerges (exercise time) and an action is taken towards that thought, ( grab tennis shoes, put them on, head out on your run) we can talk ourselves out of just about anything. Mel Robbins' technique suggests a backwards countdown of 5,4,3,2,1...ACTION to fight the resistance and keep us moving to do what we set out to do. Notice the word ACTION is our cue to actuallly begin DOING. If you think about drinking water, drink water!

Chunking habits is a term used by researchers who study how we accomplish everyday tasks. Simply brushing our teeth, which is now automated for most of us, starts by combining several actions together to create a new habit. In the same way, we can create routines that flow in order to do a combination cardio and weight-training workout at the gym, eating a healthy snack while checking emails, etc. Chunking reinforces two or more desired actions by putting several activities together and practicing those in combination to create a new habit. Set a reminder alarm at the top of each hour to stretch , and when you stretch, drink water.

Stacking habits, a term described by habit expert James Clear, connects a desired habit with one that we do automatically. So we may brush our teeth automatically twice a day, but always forget to take our vitamins. By moving our vitamin container to set on top of our toobrush container in the cabinet, we reach for the toothbrush and end up with our vitamins in hand, just where we need them as an auto reminder to take them. We may never forget to watch the evening news, but always forget to floss our teeth. By putting our dental floss on top of the tv remote each night before bed as we turn off the tv, it is there for us the next evening when we sit down after dinner to watch the news. You want to remember to drink water, so associate drinking water with doing activities you love to do, those you remember to do, and those you know you will do!

Improving our health and our lives is a matter of replacing old habits with better habits. There are many tips for doing this and the very best indicator of whether or not a person is going to make the changes necessary, is how much they arm themselves with accurate and personalized information, tools and accountability. Learning to support ourselves for the long run can be jumpstarted with a coach! That's my job, and I love what I do. Let's work together.

If you are ready to ACTIVATE your life and health, I am here for you. Jamie ACTIVATES!


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