Tell me this. When you feel like you need to wizz what do you do? Do you unzip and let loose on the spot? No, of course not. That’s because your poor parents ingrained the habit of using a toilet for you. You don’t struggle to go to the toilet in the right place and the right time, but you used to. At one stage you had major issues in this arena, we all did, but our parents had the discipline to stay the course and form the correct habit for us.
Well that’s exactly what we want to achieve with forming new activity and eating habits. To use discipline at first to ingrain a habit and then once it’s a well formed habit you won’t need to think about it.
Research has shown that when people try to change just one habit at a time, around 80% of them will retain that habit over the following year. If they try to modify two habits, their chances of success are less than 35%. When they try three habits or more, their success rate plummets to less than 5%. Is it any wonder vague New Year’s resolutions go to shite? It might sound strange but to succeed you need to do less.
Yeah you heard it, if you’re having trouble keeping your motivation and sticking to a plan you need to do less to achieve more. Here are some practical instructions to set you on the right path:
- Stick to only 1 habit. Your chances of success plummet when you try more
- Make sure you can measure it. Did you do your habit today? If you can’t answer a simple yes or no it’s too hard to measure.
- Choose an easy habit. Don’t choose something hard, at least when you're starting out changing habits, make it as easy as necessary.
- Be consistent. If possible do your new habit at the same time every day to make sure it becomes habit.
Habits require discipline to form, there’ no denying that. But once their formed you’re set. In the Food section we’ll look at actual habits, sort out the most important ones with the biggest return on investment and look at practical solutions to implement them.