Do you find it hard to change habits?
Does it seem impossible to stick to a healthy diet, an effective exercise routine, or a regular meditation practice to maintain balance?
Whatever your health goal is, so many people just can’t seem to stick to their desired healthy habits that they know are good for them.
The most common reasons reported for this are lack of time and motivation.
To address the ‘time’ thing, everyone has 24 hours in a day and 7 days in their week, whether you’re the Prime Minister of Australia, the owner of a multi-billion-dollar company, or a celebrity trying to balance family and filming….
So if you’re complaining you don’t have enough time, what you need to do is sit back and review your priorities, asking yourself “am I happy with what I’m fitting into my days right now?” Remember, you CHOSE to do all the things you're doing right now. So if you're not happy with how you're living your days, it’s time to make a change!
Once you’ve given yourself a reality check and clarified your priorities, let’s move on to the ‘motivation’ piece.
For you to create new habits, you need to stay motivated long enough to rewire your brain and create new default patterns. This will ensure you avoid falling back into old ways.
Research shows this rewiring can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months, but most research states that forming new habits takes around 60 to 70 days. This means you need to be motivated every day for 2 to 3 months to stick to your plan, before it becomes your default!
Lucky for you, there is one simple thing – and I’m talking so simple, it’s ridiculous! – that you can put in place right away to keep you motivated for as long as you need, until your new routine becomes a default.
Ready to smash your health goals effortlessly?
What you need to do is get yourself what I call an ‘Accountability Buddy’: someone who you have recruited to hold you accountable and keep you honest to stick to your plan.
I do this as part of my workplace wellbeing programs and it is one of the key components that gets lasting results for my participants. Those that get themselves an accountability buddy and meet with them at least weekly will always report that it helped them stay on track with their goals!
Its an incredibly simple concept (which is probably why it works so well!). But if you need the
Here’s how you do it:
- Decide on a person in your life who you can catch up with regularly (either by phone, online or face to face) that you know will be assertive enough to keep you honest and tell it like it is when you’re slacking off!
- Have an initial catch up with them asking if they will be your Accountability Buddy; letting them know that you need them to keep you accountable and discuss with them your goals and weekly plan you need to follow.
- Ask them about their goals and plan and how you can help them too.
- Agree on a time every week to catch up, setting up a recurring meeting in both your calendars. Aim to catch up at least once weekly to check in and ensure you’re both sticking to your plan. The catch up only needs to be 10 minutes.
- When you catch up, discuss how you’re both going and if you need any additional support from each other. If you’re not able to stick to your plans, help each other adjust to make it more achievable.
- It’s ideal to check in with each other throughout the week to give extra motivation and reminders to stick to your plans. If you work together, this can simply be going past your buddy’s desk each afternoon asking if they have stuck to their plan. Otherwise, send them a message if you’re not going to see them in person.
Remember to commit to maintaining this relationship for at least 70 days (just over 2 months) to create new habits and rewire your brain to form new mental patterns!
Once you’ve reached 70 days, have a catch up with your Buddy, review where you’re both at and if / how you’ll continue to give each other support.
Good luck and let me know how you go!
To creating effortless health,
P.S If you want to do a bit of extra reading, I finished a book recently called “The Power of Habits” by Charles Duhigg. It discusses how we form habits, why we’re motivated to do certain things that we know aren’t good for us and how to change. Enjoy :-)