“Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But the more I learn, the more I believe that the number one driver of better habits and behavior change is your environment.”
Good morning, friends! I hope you had a wonderful week just past and have great and safe plans for this week. Now it’s time to get started so let’s get to it!
This past week my family and I were at our nearly yearly experience at the beach. For all but one of the past sixteen years we’ve been to one beach in the same house every year. If you do something for sixteen years you can establish some pretty strong routines and habits. One of our beach routines is that we eat a little less healthily than we typically do. A common beach occurrence is the purchase of Oreos for dessert; we never buy cookies at home.
I’m pretty committed to my health. I move well, eat well, and try to do things for health and avoid things that detract from health. I’m no star but I’m fit for Lake Wobegon, above average. But you’d never know it at the beach. If there is a package of Oreos in the house I’ll eat them by the handful. I’ll sneak them like a child. I struggle to stop myself even though I can go a year without eating anything like an Oreo at home. Is there something wrong with my willpower? No. There’s something wrong with my environment.
So many studies have made it beyond question that environment is a powerful player in habit change. My dad was on to something when he told me as a child, “If you lay down with dogs you’ll get up with fleas.” Even the best dog can get fleas in a bad environment and even the best of us can fall prey to bad habits or rise to better habits if we consider our environment.
· Do you want to have more healthy habits? How can you change your environment to effectuate them?
· Would you prefer more outcomes of success? What environmental changes can assist you?
· Could your relationships use a boost? Consider changes to your environment to make them happen.
Toss out your soft drinks and fill your fridge with water. Buy a quality set of walking shoes and place them by your bed. Put a network list of contacts by your phone. Get rid of your TV (!!!) Create your environment so that the hard change you want is an easy choice. Create enough environment changes and your habits will change soon enough. Trust me, I know! Have a wonderful week!