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The Secret To Creating A New Habit

Written by: Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Have you been struggling to create a new habit? It’s not easy and does not happen overnight. Whether it’s related to exercise, drinking more water, eating more vegetables, spending more time with family, etc.


There is no real secret to creating a new habit. But there is one action you can take that helps more than anything else and that is making decisions ahead of time. That means planning out the steps you need to practice the habit and putting it on your schedule.

To me, it is the secret sauce to weight loss and it’s how I lost 55 lbs over 1 year and how I maintain my weight now after 4 years. I plan everything I plan to eat in advance, either the night before or the morning of. The reason I still do it is because I only like to grocery shop once a week and I need to have the ingredients in the house for simple meals so I can be successful.


Then, it becomes the easiest thing to do to follow my plan. Otherwise, if you have nothing planned, you are faced with decisions in the moment. It’s harder to make good choices because the pizza someone brought in for lunch or sandwiches from the deli or breakfast tacos seems like the easiest choice.


Why is that? We have a primitive part of our brain whose primary motivation is to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and do it as quickly as possible, so we survive. The quickest, easiest, and most obvious choice is what we pick in the moment. In prehistoric and modern times, our brain invites us to be on auto pilot so it can save energy. So many of the decisions we make every day are by default.


We also have a higher brain as we have evolved as humans that can make decisions and plan ahead of time. Putting those 2 together makes it more likely you will follow through on practicing your new habit until it becomes the easier thing to do.


Which part of your brain would you rather have in charge? The prefrontal cortex is like the parent and the primitive brain, the toddler. To be successful in changing a habit, we want our prefrontal cortex in charge of all the decisions related to the habit.


Your brain is a tool, and you are the manager of your brain. If you want to create a new long-lasting habit, making decisions ahead of time is the secret sauce. Use your brain to create the life you want instead of being in default mode.


Planning or making decisions in advance does not take much time, effort, or money. All you need is pen and paper and a habit you want to start.


Connect with Wendy on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit her website for more information on obesity, gut health, mindset and hormones. Read more from Wendy!

 

Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Wendy Crabbe, an oncology nurse practitioner and now expert in helping health professionals and women over 50 lose weight, struggled all her life with her weight. She wondered if she was so smart, why couldn’t she lose weight? The causes of obesity are about more than excess food intake and not enough movement. It’s also related to altered hormones and alterations in the gut microbiome. She was finally able to lose the weight with mindset coaching and adopting a science-based approach that she uses with her clients today. She is now on a mission to help hundreds and thousands of women over 50 get healthier; because when women get healthier, their families get healthier.

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