7 top tips for habit change - Tip 6
Tip Number 6: Find the feeling
Research shows that if we attach positive feelings to our desired behaviours, we are most likely to keep doing them. That may sound obvious, but think about it. How often do we start a workout regime by pounding away on the treadmill for 45 minutes in a sweaty gym when we actually find it boring, uncomfortable and the environment intimidating? How many diets have you started by vowing to eat nothing but celery or rice cakes? Why not take a fun dance class online, run a mini disco with your kids or take a power walk with a pal? These all count as exercise and also make our heads and hearts feel happy. Why not read up on some yummy Reset Kitchen recipes that actually make your mouth water and learn to cook them? If we associate a behaviour with positive emotion we are MUCH more likely to go back for more. Humans just quite simply LIKE feeling good. It isn’t just you!
We can also start to link positive emotions to our behaviours by celebrating them more. Usually when we are working towards an outcome like improved health, we celebrate when we achieve our milestones. But it’s actually very important to celebrate your own behaviour changes as well. Yes you should do a happy dance when you finally reach that dress size you’ve been dreaming of, but what about giving yourself a high five every time you choose a healthier snack over something you used to reach for without much thought? Change is hard work and not only do we deserve to celebrate our wins, doing so actually makes us more likely to reach our goals. Promise.
A final way that we can make something feel good is to try ‘temptation bundling’. This is when we allow ourselves to bundle a ‘good habit’ we are trying to start with a behaviour that we already enjoy. This way we tempt ourselves into the new habit. This could look like only watching your favourite TV programme while you do your physio exercises, having a cup of hot cocoa (reset recipe perhaps?) while you are doing your taxes or revising for your exam in the bubble bath.
Why not get creative? How can you make healthier habits more enjoyable?