The Wrong Way To Build Habits

Dan DeFigioBehavior and Mindfulness

wrong way to build habits

If you want to try to lose weight, that’s awesome and I’m proud of you! But there’s a right way and a wrong way to build habits:

At some point, you’ve probably made a resolution to change your life:

“I’m going to eat better!”
“I’m going to exercise every day!”
“I’m going to quit drinking!”
“I’m going to give up desserts!”

Unfortunately after 2 or 3 weeks, 95% of people will have fallen off the wagon and returned to their old, unhealthy habits.

Most people will crumble when they have a bad day at work and eat an entire pack of Oreos.

Most people will miss one workout in the next two weeks, and then never get back to it.

That one single slip-up transports you back to square one.

Why does this always happen?

“I know what I’m supposed to do, I just don’t do it!”

Welcome to the club! We all know what we need to do, but we just can’t get ourselves to make the important changes:

We know HOW to eat healthier: More vegetables and less sugar.

We know HOW to get in shape: Exercise regularly.

But why can’t we get ourselves to stick with any of these things for longer than a couple weeks?

The answers are simple:

  1. Building new healthy habits is tough, because our lizard brains crave instant gratification and will do just about anything to avoid discomfort.
  2. We rely way too much on WILLPOWER and MOTIVATION, because we don’t know a better way to build healthy habits. So when life gets busy, our default behavior (the unhealthy habits) is just easier.

So if you don’t put the right systems in place in order to make your changes stick, you’re doomed to repeat the same cycles of failure over and over.

The Wrong Way To Build Habits

Does this sound familiar?

"I'm going to give up sugar and bread and pasta, and only eat vegetables for carbs."
"AND start jogging every day."
"AND go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work."
"AND I'm never eating after 7 pm."

If you’re somebody who has historically eaten a poor diet because you suffer from stress eating and overwhelming sugar cravings, and you haven’t set foot in a gym since high school, trying to tackle ALL of the noble tasks above is a surefire way to succeed at precisely ZERO of them.

You can’t change everything at once! “Total lifestyle makeovers” never last.

===> YOU HAVE TO MAKE CHANGES ONE AT A TIME! <===

Pick ONE habit, a small one that’s easily do-able. And make it something that at the end of every day you can say “Yes I did it” or “No I didn’t.”

Promises that are nebulous, like “I am going to exercise more” or “I’m going to start eating better” are too vague.

Pick a simple Yes or No action that you either Did or Did Not Do.

The more Yesses that you rack up, the more positive momentum you gain, and the easier it is to stay on track!

We’re all in this together.

Your friend and Coach,
Dan

beating sugar addiction

P.S. If you want some accountability with your new Habit Building, try out the No More Diets program.
You’ll lose up to 20 pounds in the first 90 days, and YOU’LL KEEP IT OFF because you’ll build new habits the right way!