But this brings up a really interesting paradox – most of us at least have an idea of what to do, but we struggle to do it.
So how do you get yourself to get healthier if you already know what to do, but just aren’t doing it?
Why 40% of Doctors Are Overweight (& Still Dish Out Weight Loss Pills)
You Already Know All The Obviously Health & Weight Loss Tips… But Do You Have The Health You Want?
It’s a strange truth: for most of us, we kinda have an idea of what we should be doing to be healthy and lose weight.
But knowing, and doing, are definitely not the same thing.
Even if you gave people the exact step-by-step process to get fit and healthy, build a million dollar business, or have a better marriage – most of us would not be able do it.
Even with all of the information, very few people achieve the desired result.
There are three things I’ve heard (and observed) over and over from people:
Poor (or no) systems put into place, aka bad habits already in existence
Resistance – when we see months and months of “hard work” ahead of us, we shrink back down into our chair and feel small. It’s easier to talk about what to do than actually do it.
“Laziness” (which is usually #1 & #2 disguised)
When You Know What To do (But Don’t Do It) Follow These 3 Steps
I’ve noticed three primary things that tend to hold us back from taking action on the things we know will bring us results.
#1 No Awesome Systems In Place
For example, eating healthy once is great, but eating healthy daily is a SYSTEM.
And the system is what produces real results in the long term – consistently engaging in it gives you the results you want, and results that stick around.
So if you’ve struggled with creating a system for some of your habits, try anchoring in one of your habits to one time of the day.
I’ve been going to the gym for almost 10 years now, because I go at the same time every single day – which now feels weird if I don’t go around that time period.
I know that the 2-5pm area is usually my lowest energy period of the day, and it’s a struggle to get through that and be productive – so I schedule my exercise for 5 pm every day, which gives me the energy to get through to 10 pm.
That’s one system I’ve implemented, and I anchor it to the same time period every day.
These days, it’s like waking up and not brushing my teeth – it feels weird.
So the first thing is to try anchoring in ONE SIMPLE ROUTINE – like having a green juice with breakfast.
Anchor it to the same time period every day – meditate in the first five minutes of waking up, walk in the morning, during lunch, or right after work, etc.
Then those daily routines and rituals will truly become daily.
The second thing here is resistance, which is that frustrating “invisible wall” feeling of just not wanting to do something.
Ughhhhh this is the last thing I want to do right now.
I’ve never understood why people forced themselves to do things they hate, because it doesn’t make sense. How many things do you continue doing if you hate them?
And seeing as the health process never ends, it makes exactly zero sense to do stuff you hate.
Otherwise that’s what gets us stuck in this cycle of “I need to diet” and quitting after we’ve reached the goal. And then once again repeating it a few years later.
So here’s the fix for resistance: do the things YOU LIKE. Stop doing stuff you hate.
Start doing things you enjoy that you can turn into habits – stop lifting weights if you hate it. Do yoga, exercise, walk the dog, or do something you really care about.
And then just double down on it.
I’m a huge believer in doing more of what you like, and then putting in more time since you like it.
Even if you do invest twice the amount of time, since you enjoy what you do, you’ll end up actually doing it.
The second part of resistance is starting smaller. An hour workout sounds dreadful if you’ve never worked out for an hour.
Instead, do a ten minute walk, or even one minute if it sounds like too much.
Again, sometimes resistance is there because A. we hate what we’re doing, and B. the goal set is too big.
This can manifest as that tired, resistant, lazy feeling – even though you may not actually be lazy.
People often say to me,
“I just don’t have that much willpower… or when it comes time to exercise, I just feel lazy.”
I don’t think that’s actually true, though.
I don’t really believe in laziness, to be honest. I think sometimes we build up our goals to be much bigger and more scary than they really are, and that manifests as laziness.
I’ve found that if we’re going after a huge goal that’s really far away, there actually isn’t much motivation to achieve it.
I also think that lots of us force ourselves to do things we hate, thinking it’s somehow going to get us closer to the goal faster.
Once you get the first two down, you’ll never think of yourself as lazy again.
It’s not about laziness, it’s about being smart with habits, going smaller, and picking habits you actually like (and thus are more sustainable). Makes sense, yeah?
So if you’ve nailed #1 and #2 already, laziness usually isn’t there anymore.
And better yet, you’ll stop self-identifying as lazy.
Your Tiny Habit for Today:
Today’s tiny habit has three parts.
To solve the problem of “knowing what to do, but not doing it,” follow these three steps:
Pick one simple habit, and anchor it in by doing it at the same time every day
Don’t find yourself doing the 30 minutes of <whatever> you said you would? Then do 5 minutes. Can’t get yourself to do 5? Do 1 minute.
Do more things you actually like. Any other habits won’t be sustainable.
What about you? How do you get yourself in action, and what do you struggle with doing the most? Share below.
TIME magazine article: http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/30/fat-doctors-are-less-likely-to-help-patients-lose-weight/ | Medscape physician stats: http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/lifestyle/2012/