Creating Your Habit Environment

By Leo Babauta

Let’s imagine that you’re going to change your diet — you’re going from eating chips, ho-hos, Double Down Chicken Sandwiches and taco “meat” in a Dorito shell, to eating fruits and veggies and beans and nuts and whole grains.

Sound easy?

But when you’re stressed and tired from a long day of rebranding meetings and obsessively checking your Facebook, and don’t have much willpower, you’ll reach for the easiest snack, the thing you’re used to and comfortable with.

And when your co-workers or family breaks out the cupcakes or home-made cookies, you can’t resist the temptation, just this once.

Old habits are hard to break for many reasons, but your environment is one of the biggest. Stay in your old environment, and your old habits will be much harder to change. But change your environment, and it’s easy.

Some examples:

There might be some of us who can overcome a more difficult habit environment, but why make it so much harder on yourself?

Change your habit environment to one that’s geared to a successful habit change. Because, you know, life’s too short to keep messing up your habits.

Ways to Change Your Habit Environment

Some examples things you can change that will help you succeed:

The possibilities are endless, but by trying out one or two ideas at a time, you can craft a habit environment that works for you.

If it isn’t working, change your environment again. Keep doing it until the habit sticks.

If you need more accountability, crank it up with a challenge. If you are giving in to temptation, remove the temptation. If you keep forgetting, put up reminders or have someone help you. If you need supportive people, find them and make them a regular part of your life.

There are no excuses, only an environment waiting to be changed.