Find Your Why

We’ve all got our bad habits. In the spirit of transparency a few of mine are:

hitting snooze multiple times in the morning, eating in front of the TV, drinking too much bubbly water.

If we resolve to replace a bad habit without focusing on why we need to stop and develop new healthier habits, we won’t succeed in our quest to live a healthier life. Habits are such a big part of who we are, and since they make up 45% of all human behavior, the clearest pathway to change in your life has to do with your habits. Find the compelling reason, then build up the habits.

Compelling reasons to become healthy are NOT to weigh x pounds, to make my ex husband jealous, or to see a particular number on a scale. It must be compelling. Perhaps you want to be around to see your grandchildren grow up. Or you want to have more energy and see more of this beautiful world and not grow winded while traveling. 

Commemorate Your Why

Once you have your why, commit it to paper. If you’re big on visual cues, post your why on your most frequently visited places. Perhaps it is 1) mirror your bathroom 2) dash in your car 3) post in note on your laptop and 4) nightstand next to your bed.

Once you have figured out your why, make a list of keystone habits to adopt. Keystone is not just the name of a Colorado ski resort after all. The keystone in an arch holds the whole structure together. It creates a gateway to a laundry list of other healthy habits. 

Adopt “Keystone” Habits

Once you have figured out your why, make a list of keystone habits to adopt. Keystone is not just the name of a Colorado ski resort after all. The keystone in an arch holds the whole structure together. It creates a gateway to a laundry list of other healthy habits. 

A few keystone habits include: 

  • Logging your food into My Fitness Pal
  • Spending 30 mins a day doing something that makes you sweat
  • Drinking a large glass of water at each meal
  • Reaching for tea or sparkling water instead of alcohol

To demonstrate the difference, if you make it a habit to spend 10 minutes a day talking to an old friend on the phone, that is a very specific task that will not necessarily lead to similar behavior. Just because you’ve reach out to your friends will not necessarily mean you will start sending them letters. Contrast this with the keystone habit of drinking more water. When you’re drinking more water, you feel full and won’t mindlessly eat. Increased water intake also removes waste from the body, making you feel less bloated. Find even more reasons why water is key to losing weight and becoming healthier.

Track “Keystone” Habits

Create a checklist for your keystone habits. You want to establish a ritual and be able to look back to see your progress. 

If you’re a traditionalist, make a simple excel spreadsheet with the keystone habits in the first column and the days of the week in the remaining columns. Put a simple x or 0 to track whether you are making them a daily ritual.

For the more tech savvy, there are many smartphone apps designed specifically to help https://www.popsci.com/best-apps-tracking-habits/

 Most are $5 a month (equivalent to that Starbucks you used to order) 

All of our Healthful Life MD team members are adept at identifying bad habits and replacing them with healthier alternatives. We work with you to find your compelling why, create keystone habits and track them for long term success.

Stephen Covery, an author and speaker most known for 7 Habits of Highly Successful People once said, “Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.”