We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
The results you get in life are a direct result of your habits.
That’s great news because if you want better results in the future, then simply start creating better habits today.
After all, it’s not the one-off race you run or the 10-day detox you do that matters in the long run. It’s the little things you do day-in and day-out that truly make the biggest difference over time.
If you’re like so many other people I’ve helped over the years, you need to create healthy habits that actually stick. It’s not that exercising or eating well is necessarily difficult, it’s that doing so consistently is a challenge.
We’ve all been there. We get pumped up to start a new program or reach a new New Year’s resolution, but within just a few weeks we’ve fallen back into our old habits that keep us “comfortable”.
The Painful Secret to Creating Healthy Habits for Life
To create healthy habits, it’s important to remember that we humans do not like change and that’s because change means “pain”. Not brutal, physical pain, but simply enough discomfort that is outside of what we’re used to–also known as our comfort zone.
It’s more comfortable to sleep in than to get up an hour earlier. It’s more comfortable to sit on the couch than to workout. It’s more comfortable to pick up the phone and order pizza than to spend 20 minutes preparing dinner.
It’s not that you’re lazy or lack willpower (I’ll tell you why in a second), but you should understand that we’re ALL naturally lazy and so anything new is initially going to be somewhat challenging.
This can be very liberating en route to creating healthy habits that stick for good.
I always tell my readers and clients to be realistic about what’s expected with any given healthy habit you’re looking to create.
For example, be realistic and expect that you’ll have some more muscle soreness after your first workout in a few months (or forever). If you aren’t, then that initial soreness will be enough pain to keep you from working out consistently.
Keep in mind that if you’re not used to cooking food from scratch, your first few attempts at homemade meals may take longer than expected. But again, you become more proficient with practice–like with anything else. So just keep at it!
Here’s Your Real Problem, and it’s Not a Lack of Willpower
Your real problem is your environment.
The idea that willpower, self-control, and discipline are required to create healthy habits like eating well and exercising consistently is simply not true.
Willpower is very much like a muscle that gets fatigued with constant use. The more you resist temptations and use your brain to make decisions (like we all do), the more you drain your willpower. That’s why the end of day is the “weakest” time for most people.
You need to create an environment that will support you in your moments of weakness.
That’s why it’s so important to have done-for-you meal plans and follow-along workouts at your fingertips. They take the thinking out of “what to do”, especially after a long day when you’re tired and low on willpower.
Creating healthy habits is one of the most important things you should focus to live a great life. To help you do just that, I’ve prepared the following articles to get you going:
My Best Resources on Healthy Habits