Behavior ChangeFood For ThoughtHealthMindset

Two Habit Hacks for When Change Feels Hard

By February 12, 2020 No Comments






In your third and final installment of the Mindset portion of our Transform You 2020 series, I’m sharing a couple of habit hacks that may make it easier to “fake it ‘till you make it”… to start getting those small wins so that you can shift your identity over time.

(Click here if you missed our second mindset post, about identity…)

2 Minute Rule

The first hack is to start small, with the 2 minute rule.

Any time you are trying to start up a new habit, keep it simple and small. Commit to just 2 minutes per day of whatever it is you are trying to do.

This may not work for every habit, but, for example, if you want to become someone who regularly eats healthy, perhaps you commit to just 2 minutes of meal planning per day.

If you want to become someone who exercises more, maybe it can start with just 2 minutes of core work per day.

Thinking about the person you want to become, what is one simple thing that you can do each day that could be a small win for you, that will start reinforcing that new identity?

When we start with something small that takes just 2 minutes, the task doesn’t feel so huge so we’re more likely to stick with it each day. But over time, as that small task gets ingrained, we often start to naturally expand it and do more, without having to think too much about it.

Habit Stacking

Another great hack is the idea of habit stacking.

We are definitely creatures of routine, so if you can tie whatever it is you want to start doing with something that you already do, you may find it much easier to succeed.

For example, maybe you need to stretch your calves each day to fend off plantar fasciitis. So every time that you brush your teeth, you do a standing calf stretch. By associating it with brushing your teeth, something you already do each day, you make it much easier to remember to do those stretches.

If you want to be someone who eats better, perhaps you can incorporate prepping your lunch for the next day into your wind-down/bedtime routine.

Thinking about the key habit that you want to start, is there anything that you can tie it to–something that you already do each and every day?

Moving forward from here…

A few final thoughts as we wrap up this week’s focus on Mindset.

If you find yourself stuck (and you will at some point!) take a step back and try something new. Maybe come up with 5 different ways to handle whatever it is differently. People often get stuck because they keep trying the same thing expecting different results.

Also, be honest about your capacity at your current stage in life. Sometimes people get stuck because they try to take on/change too much at a time when maybe they have a demanding job or young kids at home, or they are caring for a sick parent.

I’m not saying do nothing at times like these–in times of stress, self-care is more important than ever. But it’s key to scale it to what is doable in the context of your life. So don’t try to change everything when you are also dealing with many stressors that you cannot control. Ask yourself what is your capacity right now, so that you don’t set yourself up for failure.

Finally, make sure that you are aiming for progress, not perfection. So many people never start because they are waiting for the “perfect time”. Or they start but don’t stick with it because they are not able to meet their goals. Remember that progress is productive. 😉

I hope that this has given you some food for thought. Mindset is perhaps the single most important key to our overall progress in most things in life.

The great thing is that our brains are always evolving. We can improve our mindset and change our beliefs about ourselves and our situation with a little conscious effort. And that can lead to some amazing results.

Stay tuned as we focus on fitness next week–an area where my thoughts have evolved more than any other. 😉

And click here for a bonus post on my top 10 mindset shifts for true transformation.