Much like water; people take the path of least resistance. Many habits are built around convenience, from the route we take to work, the grocery we shop at, to the things we snack on. Why not make this truth work for you instead of against you? Here are some ways to make the convenience factor tilt in your favor!
- Join a gym as close to your house as possible – Sure, the gym 3 miles further is $10/mo cheaper, has a better locker room, or more evening classes, but that won’t matter if you don’t use it. Adding any time to your gym commute is a barrier, so make it as close to working out at home as you can. My gym is 3 blocks away so guess who showed up for the 6am Bosu class during Chicago’s Polar Vortex? This girl!
- Workout at home – No gym is more convenient than your home. If you are self motivated (i.e. do not rely on classes), working out at home could be your best choice. Between DVD’s, YouTube, or my Strongher in :30 e-book, and at-home equipment like SelectTech dumbbells and resistance bands, you can get an awesome workout regardless of weather, traffic or gym hours.
- Keep a change of clothes in the car – If the opportunity to workout pops up – you get out of a meeting early, your after work plans are cancelled, etc. – having a change of clothes and extra pair of gym shoes in your car (or at the office) can be the difference between getting in exercise and killing your free time.
- Layout your workout clothes the night before – Not only can you sleep a little later, avoiding an early morning clothing hunt by being able to wake up and change or toss your clothes into your bag, eliminates the decision time of “should I or shouldn’t I” workout.
- Keep healthy snacks accessible – Having a bowl of apples on the counter and almonds in a clear container makes a healthy snack the easiest choice. If you’re heading out the door, you’re more likely to grab one for your purse instead of being stranded with nothing nourishing.
- Prep in advance – Either when putting groceries away, or blocking off a half hour on the weekend, cut your veggies all at once. It’ll be more convenient when you cook during the week, and having a snack of red pepper is more likely to happen when you look in the fridge and see a baggie of red pepper strips instead of a whole pepper. Make it even more convenient by purchasing pre-cut veggies and even pre-boiled hard boiled eggs.
- Don’t buy junk in bulk – Avoid “stocking up” on chips and sweets! When you have endless boxes of cookies, it’s easy to open a new one without thinking. But, you aren’t likely to make a 9pm trip to the store because you’re out of cookies! (this rule does not count during Girl Scout Cookie season).
- Make unhealthy snacks inconvenient – Put sweets and snacks in opaque containers for the out-of-sight-out-of-mind trick and use those chip clips! It seems like opening a chip clip isn’t inconvenient, but I found out my own habits in an unintentional experiment when I only had one chip clip.
These were opened at the same time! (the pig oinks when opened, FYI)
There’s lots of ways to manipulate convenience to work in your favor, and create better habits without much effort on your part. I hope this list helps get you started and sets you up to create your own!
What ways do you make healthy habits convenient or unhealthy habits inconvenient?