Updated: May 23, 2020
Here’s the first paragraph from THIS journal article about habits and health professional’s role:
“Patients trust health professionals as a source of advice on ‘lifestyle’(that is, behavior) change, and brief opportunistic advice can be effective. However, many health professionals shy away from giving advice on modifying behavior because they find traditional behavior change strategies time-consuming to explain and difficult for the patient to implement.Furthermore, even when patients successfully initiate the recommended changes, the gains are often transientbecause few of the traditional behavior change strategies have built-in mechanisms for maintenance.”
Tool for Habits
In a bit, I’m going to touch base on the highlighted areas. But for now, this is journal offers this “tool” for making a new healthy habit.
Decide on a goal that you would like to achieve for your health.
Choose a simple action that will get you towards your goal which you can do on a daily basis.
Plan when and where you will do your chosen action. Be consistent: choose a time and place that you encounter every day of the week.
Every time you encounter that time and place, do the action.
It will get easier with time, and within 10 weeks you should find you are doing it automatically without even having to think about it.
Congratulations, you’ve made a healthy habit!”
This rarely works for me. (The article is packed with other good stuff though!)
Here’s what DOES work for me.
I think about what habits I am really, really good at. Things I do automatically without even thinking about. I am awesome at brushing my teeth MINIMALLY 2 times per day. My oral hygiene doesn’t skip a beat. I am amazing at eating three meals per day. I brush my hair EVERY single morning. Even great at using the toilet. These are things I do with little thought, effort, and almost never miss. They are my true core habits.