Blame (and change) your dinner plates

I’m sure we’ve all heard the adage before: “your dinner plates are the same size as your grandmother’s serving platters.” But how much has that concept really sunk in? How have we applied that concept to other areas of our lives? It’s one thing to think about the size of our plates. It’s another thing to completely reconsider how various aspects of our life such as our route home from work, the organization of our house or even the size of our plates can help us be successful or make things even more difficult for us.

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor refers to one of these ideas as the 20 second rule. He talks about taking the batteries out of his TV remote & putting them in his bedroom so he has to walk into the bedroom, get the batteries, and put them in the remote so he can watch TV. Most days, it was enough to keep him from turning on the TV. Some days, when he really wanted to watch, he walked his butt into his bedroom & got the stupid batteries (and yes, I’m sure that was his internal dialogue).

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Making good behavior feel less expensive

One of the first things people notice when they start eating healthier is the high cost of fresh foods in comparison to processed foods. While there can be a tangible monetary shift in spending, this particular source of change power focuses on how to make that expense in effort & time feel more worthwhile.

If we can stack your structural motivation in your favor, we will be much more likely to be successful. Structural “costs” show up in a variety of ways and we can combat those costs & stack our environment in our favor.

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Our friends (and family) aren’t doing us any favors

Most of the people around us don’t want us to be unhealthy or miserable. But there are so many subtle things that the people we love & care about do to make change harder for us. And often it’s not intentional and it’s extremely rare that it’s malicious (but that does happen). Most of our family & friends might consider an intervention if we were actually sitting & eating the quantity that the woman below intends to eat. It’s a pretty cut & dry picture. But life (and change) is rarely that black & white.

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What you don’t know is holding you back

One extremely crucial aspect of making a lifestyle change or creating a new habit is taking an honest look at where you stand with regard to your knowledge & skill in order to make the change. And people will say “but that’s why I’m trying to create the new habit.” But really, if you consider the magnitude of what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s rarely just “one” habit. And if you continue with the mindset that it should “just” be one habit or one change, you neglect to acquire key knowledge & skill-sets that you’ll need in order to be successful.

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How to love a healthy lifestyle when you really hate it

It is so easy, delicious, and immediately rewarding to eat that cookie someone offered us or keep hanging out on the couch binge watching that show on Netflix. How do we convince ourselves that we really love that healthy lifestyle we’re always saying we want when our brain is saying “Just give in! It’s just one cookie!” or “We’ll exercise tomorrow.”

We are often our own worst enemies when it comes to making a personal change, such as losing weight. We’re so often putting ourselves at a serious disadvantage. Just by telling ourselves how hard things are or how much we hate them, we’re making things so much more difficult than they need to be. So how do we love that healthy lifestyle when our brain keeps telling us how much we should hate it?

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