How to Fall in Love with a Habit you HATE

Oct 10, 2022

I don’t know of anyone who wakes up one day and says: “Kale and cucumber smoothies are where it’s at right after crushing my 1 hour CrossFit workout where I only threw up once. Oh and I am giving up pizza, desserts, eating out and wine for 6 months”.

To be honest…I think I threw up in my mouth just typing that out.

Now I know this is an extreme exaggeration, but when have you ever quit something cold turkey and gone to the extreme side of health things hoping it would stick? But in the end you hate “becoming healthy” even more and resistant to getting the change and results you want?

Yes, I’m calling you out…heck I’m calling myself out! When you approach your health with this “all or nothing” mindset you are only creating more resistance. The path of least resistance is easier and more enjoyable ESPECIALLY when you are trying to create new habits!

All habits, whether serving you or not, are hard to start or break. BUT you have to ask yourself, how badly do you want it? There is a point where you have to make the hard choice to stay the path or get extremely uncomfortable to create exactly what you desire.

Waking up one day and choosing to workout is the easy part. Doing it 4x per week for life is the hard part. Or focusing on writing down 10 things you are grateful everyday is easy…but allowing that positivity to trump the negative is where it gets tricky.

So, how do you fall in love with creating these new healthy habits that seem to be impossible to get to stick?!  The simple answer…baby steps.

Here is my simple strategy to help myself and my clients start creating new habits without completely hating every minute of it:

  1. Get REALLY micro with the habit.

Let’s say your end goal is to do weights 3x per week for 30 minutes. Plus get 10k steps a day. Looking at this is overwhelming (even if you have done it in the past). You might hit this for 2 weeks straight, get a cold then lose all motivation…been there done that. SO, always start new habits small and build a foundation to keep building on. Start by doing 5 minutes of weight 5x per week and getting 5k step daily – once you are consistent with this for 1 month then build up to more! This gets rid of the all or nothing mindset and just simply getting your body used to starting to crave the new habit.

2. Focus on how your body feels.

When you remember how good you feel after doing a new habit, you suddenly create a positive memory with it, even if you don’t like the getting started part. The end feeling is what you need to hold onto and remind yourself of when you have every excuse in the book not to do your new habit.

Did you enjoy a delicious homemade chicken salad last night instead of take-out? How did you sleep? Were you less puffy in the morning? Did you feel more energized first thing? Did you feel relaxed inside for not spending money on takeout? THESE are the questions you need to hone in on to help your brain remember why you want to cook even on the days where you are just exhausted…this keeps you motivated!

  1. Track it with accountability.

If you aren’t keeping track of the new habit and making sure you are doing what you promised yourself you want to do, you will not be successful. There is something about checking off that you did your workout or drank your water that gives you a sense of accountability. Learn to start holding yourself accountable. Learn to stop breaking promises to yourself.

Now I’m not saying you have to go at this alone – accountability is a beautiful thing when you include a close friend, a partner, join a challenge or have a coach like me. When you start a new habit the community you surround yourself with can make your new choices easier and more desirable. Like they say…surround yourself with people who are where you want to be!

Trackers I love: FREE TRACKER or HabitShare app

4. Come up with a reward system.

This is always my favorite part about habits and helping my clients see them through. Set a micro goal, crush it and reward yourself with something related to that habit. Finally hit 10k steps for 1 month? Get a new pair of tennis shoes. Cooked dinner 5 nights a week for 1 month? Get something new for your kitchen. And when you hit that goal, up the ante and create a new reward! Set the reward farther out or increase the amount of time, days, etc.

NOW I do want to add one thing. If the reward system just isn’t working, try a more tough love approach! Get your accountability partner (I recommend a friend or partner), set your goal for the new habit and create a form of punishment. I know that word feels harsh, BUT sometimes having to do something you don’t want to if you don’t follow through for yourself can be even more motivating! Don’t get your workouts in 4x/week for 1 month? Now you have to clean your husband’s car for 6 months. Or take your friend out to dinner and drinks. Or fork over $50. That hits a little different in the motivation department doesn’t it?!

Starting new habits are hard as f*ck. I get it. But now it is your choice on if you are going to take one baby step towards your goals or stay right where you are.

Wanting accountability and doing a deep dive into creating the healthy life you are craving? Click here to learn more about my coaching and what I offer!

Want to dive deeper into habits and the mindset? My ALL TIME favorite book, Atomic Habits by James Clear truly opened my eyes and allowed me to help my clients at a deeper level when it comes to creating new habits. If you are a reader I highly recommend this one!  

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