How to Hack Healthy Habits

by | Jun 10, 2023 | Articles

BJ Fogg is one of the world’s leading experts in human behaviour. He teaches us that emotions create habits and that it is the success that hard wires a habit, not repetition! So how does this help us to hack Healthy Habits?

We can hack this process by ‘firing off’ an emotion each time you do a new behaviour that you want to become a habit. So do something positive straight afterwards and the reward centres in the brain ‘notice’ the positive emotion and it is this that makes us want to repeat the experience. Thus success increases self-efficacy and confidence and reinforces the new behaviour creating a habit. Pretty quickly other related healthy behaviours will begin to be automatically incorporated and as behaviours change then identity changes. We will begin to identify ourselves as someone who eats healthily or exercises regularly.

New habits HOW?

It is known that motivation varies over time and that we have a limit to our motivation. The less motivation is required, the more likely we are to succeed. So whatever behaviour you want to ace:

  1. Scale it down so that it is super tiny
  2. Find where it fits naturally in your routine ie. what it comes after. e.g.After I feed the dog I’ll do 2 squats,
  3. Finally, celebrate your achievement there and then in the moment, it could be as simple as a smile, a bit of air guitar, or a tick on a wall chart.

You are now on the path to success!

Got a Fitness Tracker?

I have been a regular user of a Fitbit for 3–4 years now and today I received a notification which tells me I just registered 12,713 ‘lifetime’ kilometres; that is the distance from one side of the earth to the other, via the centre. This is not a journey I am likely to take, although I must admit to enjoying the various renditions of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

So if you are the proud owner of a Fitbit or you have one sitting in the drawer, download the app and add me as a friend for ‘company’ as you move towards your fitness goals. Fact: People who add a friend on average do 700 more steps a day.

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Perhaps my Mindful Movement Online sessions are more up your street. We will stretch muscles and it’s the perfect opportunity to put your joints through their full range of movement. Moreover, the combination of breath work and guided meditation will moderate brain activity which in turn positively impacts the autonomic nervous system reducing overall levels of stress and anxiety.

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