5 Reasons Creating Healthy Habits Fail

As we step into another new year it felt like an appropriate time to explore some of the reasons humans struggle with creating healthy habits.

After 15 years of working with people to create change/health you begin to identify common human behaviors responsible for the path to failure.

No judgment…this shit is just as challenging for me as it is for anyone else, so don’t think for one second you are in it alone. No my amigo, we are in this together.

And whether you make a commitment to your health in January or in August, sticking to the plan is difficult. A frustration a lot of people share and a question we have to continue to explore.

Why? Why is it so darn hard? And how can we make it easier?

We don’t claim to have all the answers but as mentioned above, after 15 years in the industry, this is what we have learned.

Problem: Too much too fast.

Solution: Take bite size pieces.

Lifestyle changes are a process that take time and require support.

The whole “I want it all and I want it yesterday” mentality does not work.

Trying to make too many changes too fast can create chaos making it very easy for you to lose sight of what is working or not working.

You’ve heard us say it before and we’ll say it again. To get to where you want to go, first you gotta know where you are.

Get clear on what you want and devise a plan. This plan is going to act as your guide. When preparing your plan be specific. Want to meditate more? Record the time of day you are going to do this. Write everything down and ask yourself how confident you are these activities and goals are realistic for you.

If it feels too overwhelming, identify your short and long term goals and break your goals down into smaller more manageable steps. If all you can handle is one step at a time, great! Perfect. Once that habit becomes a routine, move onto the next one.

Problem: The environment does not change

Solution: Create an environment in support of healthy habits.

You can eat all the healthy food in the world and take all the best supplements, but staying consistent and sticking with positive habits is almost impossible in a negative environment.

I could go on and on but it really is simple. If the environment does not change, you probably wont either.

And no, this does not mean you have to quit your job, divorce your spouse, or start ignoring your children. But it will require you get honest with yourself. You are responsible for your health and how you feel has nothing to do with your job, your spouse or your kids but everything to do with the way you might be managing it all.

If you feel as though you are chasing your tail from dawn to dusk, a great exercise to slow down the pace and get a grip is to purchase a notebook and begin taking daily assessments. Daily assessments allow you to get a clear vision of the day – who is where when, groceries, exercise, sleep, cooking, dry cleaning, post office, etc.

Having a clear perspective on the events of the day allows you an opportunity to make a plan. As you continue to practice this exercise you will notice how time magically begins to reappear in your schedule.

Problem: Focus is on the outcome

Solution: Focus on the solution

Sure you want to get healthy. You want to lose weight, you want energy, you want to sleep, you want, you want you want…

Here is the problem: new goals and resolutions do not deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is not an outcome, it is a process.

In your approach to getting results, all your energy should go into building better rituals. Rituals turn behaviors into habits.

Problem: Assuming small changes don’t make a difference

Solution: Consider yourself a Chinese Bamboo Tree

Making small changes make all the difference! In fact, it is the repeated pattern of small behaviors that lead to significant results.

You cannot always feel these smaller changes happening but you can be sure if you are making better choices for yourself that over time these good choices will add up to something you can sustain.

If you want lasting results build the behavior first and worry about the results later.

Problem: You are not enjoying the process

Solution: Slow down

Nothing forced is ever going to work and despite all the hoopla telling how you should approach getting healthy, there is no one way to do it.

Getting healthy and making impactful, long-lasting changes takes time. If you are noticing you are not enjoying the process, then you need to reevaluate your approach and you definitely need to slow down.

Whatever your goal is, make it fun and enjoyable. The moment eating becomes a chore and exercise is dreaded, you’re doomed. The goal is not to add stress to your life but rather to remove it. No matter how committed you are, doing something you hate consistently just doesn’t makes sense.

It is important we begin to change our perspective on health- what it looks like, how long it should take to achieve a specific goal.

Start by simply doing things that make you feel good and stop doing things that make you feel like crap. Just in this you are making huge gains and living in alignment with what you want and need for yourself.

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Share Your Thoughts

  1. I really appreciate this blog post! I want to be healthier and often have felt discouraged by the emails I receive about changing my diet and lifestyle. It’s good to hear that you struggle, too. Taking small steps and one at a time relieves some of the pressure.
    I am on thyroid medication but have multiple other disorders that may have all stemmed from my thyroid not working properly. I feel frustrated and have spent more money than I’d like to try to find solutions.
    I’m not a fan of certain diets but I do eat as much raw food as possible. I don’t eat fast food and very little junk. I don’t know that I have the discipline to eat the way I need to to fix my thyroid issues.
    Thank you for the work you do!
    Sharon Paavola

    January 13, 2018 • 7:17 pm •
  2. East West Healing

    Thank you for your comment Sharon. I am glad it relieved some pressure. Exactly the intention behind the blog. Sometimes…correction…most times, baby steps are the only way its going to work.

    January 16, 2018 • 2:56 pm •