The longer I work as a Health Coach, the more convinced I become that we’ve been going about behaviour change all wrong.
We don’t need more information to change our diet and lifestyle, we need more support.
By the third week of January, most people are struggling with their New Year’s resolutions not because they don’t know what to do, but because they’re not doing what they know they need to do.
This can be incredibly frustrating and often leads to self-defeating thoughts and feelings, which makes it even harder to do the right thing!
Here are the top 5 mistakes I see when it comes to behaviour change:
- Letting perfect be the enemy of good — Many of us get too overzealous in the beginning and burn out shortly thereafter. What if we allowed ourselves to show up more consistently in a smaller way?
- Thinking there’s a finish line — Have you ever committed to eating well for 30 days thinking that’s all it takes to become healthy? While you may feel better, the trouble is in thinking there’s a finish line at all. Behaviour change is a lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed.
- Relying on motivation — Motivation rises and falls in all of us throughout the day. You’re not always going to “feel like” exercising or making a meal from scratch, but with the right support you can learn to show up anyway.
- Failing to update your environment — It’s much harder to avoid temptations when they’re all around you. Luckily we have more control over our environment than we think, especially at home. Consider designing your kitchen so that the healthy choices are easy, obvious and frictionless (e.g. put real food in see-through containers and treats in opaque containers).
- Being around unsupportive people — As part of our innate need to fit it, we tend to adopt the social norms of the groups we belong to. That’s why we have to be intentional about who we spend our time with. Consider joining a tribe — like a gym or running group — where the behaviour you’re trying to establish is the normal behaviour.
I’d love to know if you have made any of these mistakes and one change you’ll make going forward.