Motivations tend to run high come the New Year. The opportunity of a fresh start and personal betterment is filled with potential and excitement. Unfortunately, however, motivation (while important) is not enough to initiate action, and even with action, actually creating a long-term healthy habit can evade you year after year. The reason. Changing human behaviour is hard!
We as humans are lazy. Not necessary in what we do day to day, but our control centre is lazy, the brain. It looks for the simplest way to exist and expend as little energy as possible, and one way it does this is by going into autopilot with our habits and behaviours. This can make creating healthy habits, or stopping bad ones complicated. Understanding this however can help overcome many of the obstacles. Finding ways to ‘trick the brain’ out of it’s autopilot state and finding the easiest ways to integrate better healthy habits in your daily life can give you a much more successful chance of creating healthy behaviours and habits.
The brain is also much better at searching out and appreciating short-term pleasures and brainstorming obstacles than putting in the time to achieve tasks that have long-term benefits, particularly if we can’t see or experience those benefits straight away. This can make sticking to a new healthy habit harder, and often how we find ourselves months away from the gym or accumulating junk food in the cupboards. Being able to create a good plan of attack, find the proper support and adapt your environment can help you achieve your health goals.
Stay tuned for the next article which focuses on teaching you much more effective ways to set goals, and how to turn healthy behaviours into long-lasting habits.