How to make new Habits Easier?
By Josh Gray
We all know how hard it is to break bad habits and to start and keep new habits. Our bad habits have been ingrained into our brain after thousands of reps, hours, thoughts, actions, etc., so we do them without much thought, often without thinking about it. Since our bad habits (good ones too) are like second nature, there isn't much mental resistance to maintain the habits and most likely we've taken all the physical barriers away so that it is much easier to do.
For example, a person who smokes cigarettes, usually has cigarettes readily available, or will design their daily routine on making them easily accessible. They may keep a pack in the house, a pack in the car, and always make sure they have some in their pocket or purse, so when they want to smoke, there isn't much energy required.
This same rule applies to making good habits or behavior change stick. The easier you make the new habit or behavior, the less resistance/energy required for action, so the chances of your success increases.
So, let's say you want to eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the day. A good way to make this happen, is to make fruits/veggies more visual and more convenient. Often when we are hungry, especially if we're busy, we grab the first thing we see or go to the nearest fast-food restaurant, so increasing the visibility and accessibility to healthier foods will decrease the likelihood of you reverting back to your bad habits.
What might that look like?
Placing fruits/veggies in the front of the top two shelves of your fridge so you will see them first (this is also why companies fight to get their products on the top two shelves of grocery stores)
Placing fruit/veggies on your kitchen counter so it's the first thing you see when you walk into the kitchen
Having fruit/veggie snacks at your desk or in your office refrigerator so that you have healthier snacks while working
If your goal is to exercise more, the same principles apply:
pack your workout clothes the night before and put them in your front seat, that way when you see them, you know you need to go to the gym
Make sure your trip to or from work passes a gym or park, so that you do not have to go out of your way to workout (not always possible)
Plan your workout (Time/place) in your planner/schedule so that your mind is free to worry about other things
These are just a couple examples, but this can be applied to almost every are of your life.