Building healthy habits is the best thing you can do if you’d like to start living a healthier lifestyle. However, I’ll admit that developing good habits can initially be challenging.
One thing you can do, especially in that difficult beginning stage, is to make the easy things difficult to do and make the difficult things easy to do.
Allow me to explain.
Let’s say that you are a person who currently loves snacking on unhealthy foods, but you’d like to change and instead begin eating healthier snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and some nuts. You love your cookies, candies, cakes, and chips. Whenever you get the munchies and are in the mood for a snack, all your favorite foods are right there in your kitchen. That’s easy, right?
So, you have to make the easy thing hard to do. This translates to ridding your home of all your favorite yet unhealthy snacks. Next, stock your kitchen pantry, refrigerator, and countertops with fruits, vegetables, and nuts—make the difficult thing easy to do.
The next time you are in the mood for a snack, all those healthy and tasty snacks will be easily accessible and right there for your enjoyment—easy, right? How about baby carrots and hummus? Or maybe a banana and grapes?
Moreover, if you really want to snack on some junk food, you will have to leave your home and either walk or drive to the nearby store, which is going to be relatively difficult, and it will be less likely that you will do it. This will help you to start building healthy habits.
This concept applies not only to health habits but to any behavior that you’d like to change. Let’s say that you are a shopaholic. You absolutely love going to the stores, buying all sorts of goodies, and paying for them with your favorite plastic card. However, let’s also declare that you want to change this habit and become more financially responsible. Well, in that case, make the easy thing difficult to do. I don’t remember where, but I remember reading somewhere the recommendation to put your favorite credit card in an empty coffee can, fill it with water, and place it in the freezer. The next time you have the urge to hit the stores, your credit card will be frozen in a block of ice. If you’d really like to go, you’ll have to wait for it to thaw. Hopefully, your impulse to shop will have passed by then.
Making the easy difficult and the difficult easy is a great way to help build new habits.
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