Changing Things Up Around the House May Make or Break Your Habit
Your existing environment might be standing between you and establishing your new healthy behavior
Tomorrow is the day; you decide a run is in the cards before work. You’ve been wanting to get up and run for the last week now, but this time you’ve actually set the alarm, 7:00 a.m. is the time you’ll rise and run. But when that time comes the next day, out of instinct you swat the alarm and hit snooze a few times before you roll out of bed. There’s no more time for a run before work, and you scurry out the door to not be late.
This is a familiar scenario for many people, they’ve set themselves up for all the success in the world only to hit the snooze button, a force of pure habit and reaction for many.
This very scenario describes perfectly the importance of changing up your environment to set yourself up for even more success. Enabling your good habits to grow and succeed is as simple as the following; once that 7 a.m. alarm is set, move it all the way across the room so it’s not an arm’s length away. This is a classic example of changing even the smallest detail in your environment to allow healthy behaviors to thrive, grown, and succeed.
Dr. Michael Otto and Dr. Jasper Smiths state that environmental factors are key for the continual growth of behavior. They say that “instead of focusing on getting yourself to exercise, we ask that you focus only on the next step that will make it more likely that you will exercise.” This shift in perspective allows us to move our focus from the big goal (exercise) to smaller goals (not hitting snooze) that lead to an increased chance of accomplishing that end goal. This is a similar concept to what we explored last week in our post that emphasized The Importance of Starting Small. Smaller goals and behaviors ultimately lead to the big ones.
By including enough environmental supports to your desired behavior you accomplish various things. You make it convenient and easy to accomplish desired behavior, which as we know makes this desired behavior much more likely to become habit. But on top of that, these environmental factors decrease the tiresome nature of trying to establish a behavior. You aren’t as likely to slump in your desired goal because you’ll notice that your environment is actively encouraging you to go out and do it.
That extra motivation can be just enough to push you to go on that early morning run instead of cozying up in bed for another few minutes. It might be as simple as moving your alarm or unplugging your TV, but those small things add up, and an environment that enables healthy behaviors goes a long way towards promoting your healthy goal.
In the final post in our series on habits, next week we’ll discuss the best part about establishing healthy behaviors, celebrating yourself for your hard work.
If a healthy lifestyle is something you believe would benefit your co-workers or employees, don’t hesitate to request Perk Health’s free, four-week fitness challenge. Perk Health believes exercise should engage everybody, from marathoners to parents playing tag with their kids.
For more information on Perk Health and the free four week fitness challenge, check out www.getperkhealth.com