Why are habits so hard to change? We’ve all have had something in our lives we wanted to change, maybe even something we had to change. Whether the motivation is for personal improvement or to prevent negative consequences, when it comes down to making a habit stick – it can feel like a monumental undertaking.
Isn’t it interesting that we have more diets, drugs, technology, health gadgets, and gizmos than ever before – and yet, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other habit driven illnesses are on the rise? We can plan a diet, buy a new fitbit, and throw out all the junk we have in the house – yet, that still doesn’t stop many of us from choosing a candy bar over an apple.
The reason so many new diets and healthy habits fail isn’t due to your lack of willpower, it’s in how you approach the whole idea of changing habits altogether. A combination of all-or-nothing thinking, perfectionism, and viewing success as black-and-white is the root cause of failed healthy habits.
I’ve been fascinated with the processes that differentiate habits that stick and those that don’t for over a decade, which is why I’ve brought a masterful habit changer into our office.
Our health coach, Maya Nahra, RD, founder of Nuuaria, took the same philosophy of functional medicine and applied it to habit changing. Her success lies in addressing the root cause of habits – why they fail and why they succeed. Her program, Habit and Behavior Change, has helped hundreds of people make necessary lifestyle changes that have turned their lives around.
Surely, you can relate to the frustration of incorporating a new habit into your life… but have you ever asked yourself, “What is the underlying cause of whether my habits will stick or fail?” Probably not – but you’re not alone. It’s an entirely new way of approaching habits and it’s incredibly inspiring.
Why Habits Matter
Everything in your health is dependent on your habits. Eating right, exercising enough, taking your medication and supplements – these can only do their job to improve your health when you do each consistently over time. The compounding effect of your daily decisions over an extended period is what led you to the health you have today.
The thing about habits is that they are usually very small. Taking one pill every morning or avoiding one candy bar at the office – and they can seem incredibly easy to do but also just as easy to not do. And perhaps you won’t see the immediate effects that day, or even the next day. But over time these tiny, little actions compound and have life changing effects.
Your habits matter because they are the cornerstone of your health. As a doctor, I can only do so much in our appointment – help you solve problems and point you in the right direction. It’s the habits that you implement once you leave my office that ultimately determine the success of the plan we come up with together.
You may thrive with a health coach who can give you more direct guidance, support, and oversight as you make these new changes. If you struggle with changing or implementing new habits, the first place to look is at your underlying thought process.
The Root Cause of Habit Changing
The root cause of habits that don’t stick is always a thought process. Here are some of the most common thought processes that counteract new habits:
- Not seeing results fast enough
- All-or-nothing approach as to what constitutes “success”
- Focusing on the problem over the solution
- Catastrophic thinking
- Cyclical thinking
- Unaddressed emotional associations
These thoughts get in the way of you successfully changing your habits. When you work with an experienced health coach, you can break down these thoughts and reduce their limiting effects on your life.
The method behind the Habit and Behavior Change technique first works on these thoughts and corrects them. Then, you are equipped with a comprehensive road map, one-on-one support, and guidance. I’ve seen numerous patients experience and report:
- Weight loss – with an average of 16 pounds
- Decrease in waist circumference with and average of 5 inches
- Decrease in overall blood pressure
- Decrease in blood glucose levels
- Reduction in the number of medications taken
- Improved sense of wellbeing and happiness happier
- Enjoying healthier food and an increase their overall fruit and vegetable consumption
- Experiencing a better sense of connection with their body
- Feeling more satisfied with their work
- Experiencing less stress throughout the day
- Having more energy on a day-to-day basis
- Feeling more productive and focused at work
- Improving time management abilities
The power of habits is incredible – you can make them work for you or against you. When you get the right support for your habits, you may find that it was the piece of your health puzzle you’ve been missing this whole time.
The Importance of a Health Coach
We all have areas of potential improvement. I strongly recommend finding a health coach to help crush your habits for 2018, both good and bad. I’ve seen first hand the impact a health coach with the Habit and Behavior Change method can have in getting people to make the necessary changes and follow through with their healthcare plan over the long term.
Maya Nahra is a registered dietitian and expert habit influencer. If you’ve struggled with knowing what the right thing to do is but somehow cannot get yourself to do it – you should request an appointment with Nuuaria. If you’re not in the Phoenix area, you should still consider looking for an influential and successful health coach. Be sure to find someone who has a proven and measurable method for health coaching.
If you’re interested in crushing your health habits in 2018 with our wonderful and effective team, you can request an appointment here or call 602-892-4727. Your habits are what make your health a success. Let’s knock your New Year’s resolutions out the park and well into 2019. Cheers!