Make it easier to build habits for life

make it easier to build habits for life

Make it easier to build habits for life

This week I want to share how you can make it easier for yourself to build habits for life, with three essential steps. You can watch the video I made on this below or keep scrolling to read the blog.

This is for you if you know what tweaks you want to make. You know what you need to change to improve your eating habits or your exercising habits. You know what you need to do, but you just struggle to do it. Every week you think “right, I’m gonna do it! I’m going to start having breakfast everyday!” But by the end of the week it’s just not happened. You had breakfast on Monday, but then you forgot the rest of the week.

Making changes is hard.

Changing your behaviour is hard. Ha – that is a massive understatement, right?! Human beings are creatures of habit. We like to do what’s easy and comfortable – that is, doing the things that we’ve always done. So it takes time and it takes effort to build new habits. You have to practice those little changes over and over again before they become ingrained as new habits. Breaking old habits that you don’t want to do anymore is really hard too. It takes the three ‘P’s; practice, patience and perseverance – you can read the blog post I wrote on this here.

Three tips to help you make it easier

If you know what you need to do, but you’re just really struggling to do it, here are three tips for you. You could try them step-by-step and see if there’s one that makes the most difference.

1. Remove the obstacles

Be really honest with yourself and take a step back from the situation. What’s getting in the way of you making that change that you want to make? You know there’s something you need to do; a tweak that would make all the difference. What’s making it seem too hard? What’s stopping you from doing it and keeping it going?

I had a client who once told me that she wanted to go for a run regularly. What helped her was changing where she put her running kit and shoes and it made all the difference! It could be something little like that, which is a game-changer for you too. For this client the new place where she kept her kit meant she found it easier to get the kit, put it on and go out for that quick run.

I keep meaning to get back into using the punch-bag in our lean-to. The lean-to has some gym equipment, but it’s also become a dumping-ground for random DIY stuff and gardening things. There’s just too much stuff in the way at the moment, so you can’t get to the punch-bag to use it. That’s the obstacle in the way of me doing more exercise. To get back into using the punch-bag, my first step would be planning when am I going to sort out the lean-to. If I could rearrange the room to make more space then I’ll be able to start exercising in there.

Where are you making it too hard for yourself? Are you building it up in your head? How could you break things down into smaller steps, so it’s easier to take that first step?

2. Stack your habits

What current habit have you got, that you could attach your new habit to? Think of something that you do naturally. What do you do that’s already a habit and how you could attach that new habit to it? I believe James Clear talks about this ‘hack’ in his book ‘Atomic Habits’, but I have to admit I’ve never read it! This is just something I’ve been recommending for a while, but didn’t have a name for until I heard people talk about this book!

To give you an example of how this works, imagine that you want to drink more water and you’re already really good at making yourself a cup of tea regularly. You could attach the new habit of drinking more water to the old habit of making a cuppa. Every time you boil the kettle, you could pour yourself a glass of water. Those extra glasses of water will add up pretty quick.

Or maybe you struggle to have breakfast because you’re in too much of a rush in the morning. So preparing something the night before while you make your evening meal would help you have breakfast regularly. Maybe you make something like overnight oats or have breakfast laid out ready in the fridge or in a box – whatever is easiest for you. Or it could be that you pack your lunches while you’re making your evening meal. Maybe to start with you might need to set some kind of reminder – an alarm or have a post-it to remind you. You could even plan to do both breakfast and lunch. It’s about developing a strategy, finding a way to make it easier for yourself to build that new habit into your normal day-to-day life. If it feels easy, you’re more likely to keep doing it. Which leads me nicely onto step the next step.

make it easier to build habits for life
If you enjoy what you’re doing you’re more likely to want to keep doing it!
This was me having fun at aerial hoop earlier this year.

3. Make it more appealing

Do you really want to do make that tweak? Or is there something else that you could do instead or another way of doing it? What would make it more fun and appealing to you? If you enjoy it you’re more likely to do it and you’re more likely to keep it going. The more that you keep it going, the more likely it is to become a new habit that you stick to forever. Then it becomes part of the lifestyle, so you’re more likely to reach your healthy goal and stay there.

Let’s say you want to get more veg in your meals, but you hate salad. That’s ok, I’m not big fan of lettuce either! But it’s no good making yourself a load of salads for your packed lunches if you don’t enjoy them. Instead, think about what other veg you like. Or what other ways would you enjoy eating veg? Maybe you enjoy vegetable soup so you could make a big batch of vegetable soup for with evening meals or your lunches.

Maybe you’re trying to do more exercise, but you hate the gym. Think about how you could find a way of moving that you enjoy instead. So instead of slogging it out at the gym maybe you could go dancing instead? Or try something new like aerial hoop or pole dancing.

Make things easier and more fun for yourself by:

  • Removing those obstacles. What’s getting in the way and how you could get rid of that?
  • Stacking your habits. Attach the new habits you want to build to habits that you already have.
  • Making it more appealing. Figure out how you could enjoy that new habit so you keep it going.

Talking this through with somebody can help if you’re struggling to work out your own personal strategy. Remember that’s exactly what I can help you with just get in touch – see below for more info.

It’s time to ditch dieting forever, because you absolutely deserve better.

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My Weekly Round-up! AKA; what I’ve been up to recently…

  • Tea of the week has been Vanilla Chai tea again. Autumn is well and truly here!
  • Last week I decided I wanted to get back into doing my my daily exercise routine again. I did it once last week and set myself the target of doing it twice this week… So far I’ve only done it once again, but I’ve had quite a bit on so I will be doing the second session tomorrow. I’ll let you know how I get on next week!
  • Our family challenge ’22 Hills In 2022′ is going well. After accidentally going up the wrong hill last week, we found our way up Stapeley Hill this weekend. It was a fairly easy climb compared to Corndon Hill last week, but a little longer. We also remember to take Genevieve’s new kite up there too and she loved flying a kite for the first time. Will definitely have to do it again soon.
  • My book reading challenge has stalled a bit the last few weeks as I need to get to the library. I’ve been reading a couple of Jane Austen’s books, but I’ve read them a million times already, so I can’t include them in ’22 Books In 2022′! Aiming to get to the library this weekend… watch this space!
  • Bird Nerd Report: Still seeing loads of long-tailed tits when I’m out and about. I keep seeing pairs of robins together too. I’m pretty sure I saw a nuthatch this morning, but it was so quick!

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