Design Trumps Willpower - Making Habits Stick
Updated: Feb 24
For all the will in the world, there is a reason why we stay rooted to our old habits and have difficulty creating new ones; in these disruptive times, our willpower quickly gets eroded.
You see its just like a muscle - when we get overloaded with decision-making or mental fatigue throughout our day, we revert to default (our cosy habits) simply due to the fact that the path of least resistance is to keep on keeping on that way.
So how to change all that?
The easiest way to do it is by designing your new habits & environment.
So for example in my case, when in the New Year I decided to design even better habits and the environment needed to stick to my morning wellbeing routine - I made sure to avoid any friction and to limit any decision fatigue. Two months in.. and I haven´t missed a single scheduled morning appointment with myself. This is what I do to make it stick:
The Night Before - I lay out my workout clothes, mat and water bottle - I prepare my space for my (pre-planned) breathing exercises and guided meditation - I have a quick energy snack of fruit and nuts ready for an instant refuel - I place a book nearby to finish with a few minutes of inner inspiration Why do all this the night before? Because, next morning when I wake up I don´t even have to think about it. I have made all of my choices and decisions the night before and laid out the environment I want, to make it happen. It zaps the chances of me having friction (and burning my willpower) in the morning or thinking ¨How am I going to do this right now?¨. In short, just make it easy on yourself. Design the way of least resistance, and once you have made the decisions the night before, dont think about them again. Sleep well and see what happens in the morning.
Healthy Regards, Ian Matthews Healthy Minds Educator
Zenbok The Mindful Cultivation of Resilience and Wellbeing www.zenbok.org Contact Ian for more details on his 1 to 1 or group wellness coaching programs: Signature Course ´MBMS´: Mind - Breath - Movement - Sound ´Live´ Online Micro Classes: Breathwork, Mindfulness & Stress Reduction