Behavioural scientists tell us it’s because we’re doing it wrong…Huh?
We tend to start with big ambitions like losing weight, getting abs or overhauling our lifestyle without taking the steps necessary for success.
We’ve read the scientific papers to bring you the research on how to build lasting habits. The good news is there are proven strategies that will help to build the habits you want:
1. Start Small
Dr B.J Fogg has studied human behaviour at Stanford university for 20 years and recommends that we start with ‘Tiny habits’. Make a plan, work out what you want to achieve and then start with the smallest step. Choose small habits you want to add to your morning routine, for example drinking a glass of water after you wake up or leaving your phone outside the bedroom. If you start with huge goals and fail to see results immediately, it’s easy to lose motivation very quickly.
2. Stack Your Habits
Experts say that stacking a new habit onto an existing habit is the easiest way to start a new behaviour. For example, having a plantshake with your morning coffee is a great way of getting 2 portions of fruit & veg into your diet without thinking about it. This is why we recommend starting with our 7 day challenge – replacing a coffee or tea with a plantshake for 7 days. It really helps to build consistent healthy habits and make sure you start the day feeling great. Follow co-founder Phoebe’s 7 day challenge on facebook or instagram.
3. Do It Everyday
Decades of scientific research shows that doing an action repeatedly in a consistent context, leads to habit formation over time*. The more often we repeat an action, the faster it becomes a habit, so it’s important to start with something that is relatively easy to do that you could repeat daily. For example, having a balanced breakfast every morning can set you up for a good day ahead.
Why not try Oatshakes for when you’re on the go!
4. Make It Easy
Your environment matters, so if you’re surrounded by lots of delicious cake, it’s going to be harder to stop snacking. Especially now we’re all working from home – think about what you have around you. Leaving gym clothes out next to your bed is an easy prompt to do that morning exercise. Similarly, having your veg box or plantshakes out on the side makes it easy to make the healthier choice.
We prop ours up in our fruit bowl to remind us!
5. Reward Yourself
Dr Heather McKee says that developing self compassion is key to making healthy habits stick, because change happens more easily from a place of happiness than a place of negativity. You cannot achieve your goals through willpower alone, so it’s important to reward yourself with some time doing things you love.
In summary, set realistic goals, start small, keep going and don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Change is hard! If it doesn’t work perfectly the first time, take a breath, reset and start again.