How To Make Good Habits Easy To Stick To
Probably one of the most influential and most important books I’ve read in the last several years is called Atomic Habits by the author, James Clear, and I very highly recommend reading it as it is so helpful when trying to make good habits easy to stick to.
And the very highly simplified gist of it is to focus on making small improvements every day – to try and improve 1% each day for example.
Incentivise good habits, make them easy to follow and make bad habits or things that you shouldn’t be doing much harder to actually do.
And it’s that second one I really want to focus on – making good habits, or the things that you should be doing, much easier to actually do.
How I Made My Home Workouts Easier To Stick To
A really good example is – I’ve spoken quite recently about how much I’ve gotten to enjoy training at home, but it took me quite a while to find a structure and flow that works for me.
I used to do something like 20 to 30 minutes of bodyweight strength, which needed me to set up my equipment, like my pull-up bar and my dip bars.
And then move from one room to the room where we have our spin bite to do a 20 to 30-minute indoor cycling class. And then to come back to my bedroom and then put all the equipment away and then do stretching or yoga.
It started off great. But between each phase or each step, there is some friction.
I mean there’s friction right at the very start of trying to get me into workout mode when I need to set up all my equipment. Then there’s the act of moving from one room to another and a different style of training.
Then there’s also the act of coming back and putting my equipment away and then getting ready for another style of training again.
So to be fair it wasn’t really the best thought out workout plan.
But I probably did not help myself with the number of steps I had in between.
So with the added friction and the extra steps of transitioning from one room to another and packing equipment away and changing training styles, as I was getting more and more tired and my willpower was dropping, my ability to actually see my workout through to completion and with the same level of intensity and purpose just dropped.
So I was making things much harder for me to follow through.
Eventually, I revamped my training so that my exercise choice and what workouts I was doing on what days so that I could do everything in a single room. I’d have minimal set-up and pack up time and it just made it a much smoother transition from one thing to another. And I stuck to it a lot more easily.
And there are some other examples that you can use as well.
Other Examples Of How To Make Good Habits Easy
Meal prep means you’re much more likely to stick to your eating plan because you don’t have to think or worry about what you’re going to eat. And you’re not leaving anywhere near as much room for temptation to creep in.
Leaving your workout clothes out when you go to bed at night so if you’re doing an early morning workout, you don’t need to try and search for them in the morning. You probably get bonus points if you’ve put those clothes right next to your coffee machine and your coffee machine is on a timer.
Use a light alarm clock, one of the ones which brightens up gradually, to help you wake up feeling much happier and much more energized so that you actually get out of bed on time.
Learning to cook vegetables in a way that you enjoy. So it becomes much easier to get a healthy, balanced diet for pretty much any health or fitness goal.
Have a standing order, or direct debit so a percentage of your earnings automatically goes into a savings account.
And pure and simple, just finding a style of exercise or training that you actually enjoy so it doesn’t feel like you have to set yourself up to actually get that workout done in the first place.
How Can You Make Your Good Habits Easy To Stick With?
A lot of the time, good habits and things that we should be doing are setting us up for a longer-term reward. But some short-term reward or temptation or distraction can get in the way and put us off in the moment when we’re making that decision.
But if we can make it easier to do those things that we feel like we should be doing, maybe even automate some of it so that we take all thought required out of it entirely, we’re setting ourselves up for success and making our journey towards pretty much any long-term goal, much easier.