How to Change a Habit

Ever wondered how to change a habit?  In Gretchen Rubin’s book Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives, she states “From my observation, habits in four areas do most to boost feelings of self-control, and in this way strengthen the foundation or all our habits”.

These 4 habits include:

1. Sleep
2. Move
3. Eat and drink right
4. Unclutter

Foundational Habits and How to Change a Habit

She calls these four habits, Foundational habits. “Not only do these habits tend to reinforce each other – exercise helps people sleep and sleep helps people do everything better so that they are in a good place for any kind of habit change.”

I concur, the day after a night where I have not slept well, or gotten enough sleep I feel like I am working with one arm tied behind my back.  I have low energy, find it difficult to focus and am definitely less motivated and creative.  Plus, I am less likely to go for my daily walk and don’t seem to have the energy or will to prepare healthy food.  Everything is connected and either reinforced or compromised by the other.

Have you ever noticed when you declutter an area of your house that you and the space you live in feel lighter?  I spent several days over the Christmas holiday decluttering and organizing all the stuff in my garage.  At the end of the holiday, I felt like I had been on a vacation and had come back relaxed and rejuvenated.  My entire home felt freed-up and as an added bonus I can find stuff quickly now.

Changing a Habit

If you are feeling sluggish, rather than setting a goal of ‘going to the gym five times a week’, consider starting with getting adequate sleep – however that is for you.  Then build in a no-pressure exercise routine.  As you begin to have more energy, take more time for better food choices and finally discover the bandwidth to declutter one space in your home or office – and see what happens.

I love what one woman Gretchen quoted in her book as saying “I cleaned out my fridge, and now I feel like I can switch careers”.

If you’re looking for more from Marlene, click here to read about The Courage to be Real.

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