Try changing the environment to build a new habit

Have you ever wondered how your hands automatically reach your favorite mug well displayed on the kitchen counter while making your morning coffee, or have you noticed how you automatically place your car keys on the console table as you enter the house? You perform these actions out of habit without paying much attention. They do not require your conscious thinking and are an automated response borne out of the repetitions done exactly in the same way, in the same environment. The respective environment for these examples is – the well-displayed kitchen shelf and the console table.

Although mundane, such activities can become overwhelming in the absence of the right environment. Instead of the well-displaced kitchen shelf, imagine looking through the cabinets to find your favorite mug during rush hour. Even though you intended to drink coffee in your favorite mug, most likely, you will end up drinking in the one that first shows up. Similarly, if we do not organize a dedicated space to hold the essentials for going outdoors, getting out of the house will be a struggle, and in the worst case, you may not be able to go out. Therefore, intent is not sufficient unless we have a conducive environment. To build a habit, you need to change the environment appropriately.

Want to eat healthy? Yes (or at least you have the intention). You can achieve it if you,

  • Stop buying junk food for home.
  • Limit your expenditure toward unhealthy food.
  • Restrict eating unhealthy on a designated day of the week.
  • Keep junk out of sight, hidden in cabinets not easy to reach.
  • Keep healthy food well displayed on the shelves at eye level.
  • Keep snacks away from your bedroom and sitting areas.

“Self-control is simple when you understand that it involves putting yourself in the right situations to develop the right habits.” – Wendy Wood, author of Good Habits Bad Habits

Optimize your environment now!