Take it EASY!
Who knew habit change could look like this?
We often hear the phrases, “ No pain, no gain!” or “Don’t take the easy way out!” But, what if I told you EASY is exactly what you want when it comes to building better habits?! 🤯
Last week we started talking about tweaking our habits as discussed in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. We took a look at Clear’s first two laws of behavior change when building a habit, changing an existing habit or stopping an undesirable habit:
Make it obvious. / Make it invisible.
Make it attractive. / Make it unattractive .
This week we’re taking a look at Clear’s third law: Make it easy. / Make it difficult.
And in the spirit of keeping things short and easy, I’ll be briefer and we’ll save the fourth law for next week! ;)
How can we make habit chang EASY?
⭐️ Repeat, repeat, repeat! Focus on REPETITION of the habit in order to make it stick. You’ve likely heard claims like it takes 21 days to create a new habit— but what’s more powerful for our minds is not length of time , but the number of times you repeat the habit. Think of putting an X on the calendar for each day you perform the habit- each X represents ingraining the habit in your mind to become automatic.
⭐️ Make it easily accessible. If you are someone who intends to make it to Zumba class after work but find the location inconvenient to get to or always just want to go home after work, perhaps there’s just too much friction standing between you and the dance classroom — friction such as the time and distance or even money spent to make it to in-person class. You can make things easier for yourself by setting up your living room as a dance space and joining the Unlimited Prerecorded Zumba Package ( May’s registration is now open!) so that there are fewer obstacles standing in the way of you working out.
Similarly if you are trying to break a habit like eating junk food at night - take it out of your home . If you want to have a snack, make it more difficult by making yourself have to go to the store to buy the treat you want. You’ll be less likely because it requires more effort.
⭐️ And lastly, start small- I mean SUPER small- so small it takes almost no effort to perform the habit. Turns out we need to break things down, way down — as in, the “Two Minute Rule. ” The key to making a desired behavior into an automatic habit is making it as small and simple as possible to repeat. If you want to get in better shape then, trying to work out for an hour every day is not the right place to start. Commit to just TWO minutes a day to start. No matter what, get up, and do something simple like walking in place for two minutes. Once you master two minutes every day, you are ready to add more time to your workout!
Do these tips seem EASY to you? Let me know!
Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for next week’s blog to continue the discussion on habit building!