How To Make Habits Stickier

How To Make Habits Stickier

If you've ever tried starting a new habit you've probably dealt with a cycle that looks something like this:

  1. Get fired up to start a new habit or routine
  2. Start new habit or routine with gusto
  3. Discontinue said habit or routine within like 4 days

It happens all the time. Habits are a complex mixture of physical and neural factors that manifest over time and repetition. Do something long enough and often enough, and it will hit auto-pilot status.

But you can give yourself an advantage in this game by understanding a few things about habits and integrating some tricks and hacks into your new habit acquisition (or old habit de-conditioning).

A Simple Hack For Better Habits

One such habit hack is the idea that you should make your good habits, or desired habits, easy. Because of our evolutionary wiring, humans will always follow the path of least resistance.

Evolution wants us conserving energy to get what we need. It's a tactic that took us from grassland hunter-gatherers to today. You aren't going to change this wiring, so you should use it to your advantage.

If you want to change your diet, you need to make it easy. Throw out all the processed garbage in the pantry and fridge. Replace that crap with lean meats, nuts and seeds, green veggies, and fresh fruits. 

Throw in some protein bars and nut butters for a little nutrition on the go. Now, when hunger hits, the only option you have in your home is nutritious. You won't eat a bunch of cookies or chips because they aren't in your house. You've reduced the friction of performing your good habits.

Conversely, you've also made performing a bad habit more difficult. That's a homerun because you've hit both points.

In summary, you want to make good habits easy, and bad habits (or habits you would like to change or improve) more difficult. Make the desired behavior as friction-less as possible while the opposite behavior is made extremely difficult.

But It's Complex

The hack I shared above is a good start, but habits are complex systems of evolution, wiring, routine, neurons and a whole lot more.

I highly suggest you read and learn about the science of habits so you can take control of your own.

I recommend two books on the subject: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and Atomic Habits by James Clear.

I find Duhigg to go more in-depth on the science and Clear to be more concise and actionable.

Taking control of your habits is an important step in taking control of your fitness, nutrition, and your life. I really hope you start making your good habits easy and read both of the recommended books.

If we can be of any help, please don't hesitate to ask.

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