Why is it so hard to start new, healthy habits?

It’s mid-July already.

That said, I actually want you to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? I mean, how do you honestly feel? Are you feeling vibrant and happy? Or are you shocked, and a bit stressed and sad, that another summer is speeding by and you still haven’t prioritized your health + wellness (like you promised yourself back in January?)

Here’s the thing — time has a way of getting away from us.

Why? Because it can be so freaking difficult to start and cultivate new habits. We’re hardwired to latch on to our familiar patterns— whether they’re good or bad. Yikes!

Our brains are constantly looking for energy-conserving hacks. This means the brain gravitates toward and uses familiar, existing habits. The brain LOVES habits — which, ultimately, works in our favor — would you want to learn to ride a bike every time you got on one? But, on the flip side, when we’ve established not-so-healthy habits and routines, the neural pathways have been formed and the brain recognizes these patterns of behavior as a way to run on autopilot (to save energy.) Argh!

Here’s another interesting tidbit: Our brain is conditioned — hardwired at its most primal level — to seek pleasure. This means it will always want to seek out the most pleasurable choice of that exact moment: Do I get up to work out or do I stay snuggled in bed?…Well, snuggled in bed is always more pleasant. See how that works? Again, argh!!  

We have to allow our higher intellect to step in and override this basic conditioning. Having a firm plan in place to lessen the “unknown” on the brain will help. For example, if you want to change your morning routine, don’t wait to get up and then figure out what to do. This “unknown” — the mental act of figuring out what to do in the a.m. — will drive your brain right back to the habit it’s familiar with (and/or back to whatever option is the most pleasurable in that exact moment.)  Building new habits, and replacing those pesky old ones, takes a strategy, plan and a little bit of mindset muscle.

I do tons of habit work with my clients (in fact, I’m in the process of getting my Master’s in Mindfulness Studies — and am particularly interested in applying mindfulness practices to our habits! Exciting stuff!) We all know what we need to be doing to feel healthier and happier…but knowing is not doing.

If you know in your heart you’d like to make some changes in your life and if you could use my help in getting committed and consistent with your health, then click here and let’s talk about a habit makeover!

Let’s talk about your habits and how they may be holding you back. Let’s discover where you are blocked, work through it and get you unstuck and moving forward.

Wishing you lots and lots of high vibes (and lots of healthy, high vibe habits!),

xo,

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *