Today I’d like to share Sleekgeek’s secret formula for helping people pick the right healthy habits to work on.
It’s a mix of art and science.
As they say, “If everything is a priority then nothing is a priority.” so you need to choose wisely.
So here’s what we recommend:
1) Pick an “easy win” habit
An Easy Win habit is a healthy habit that you already do well and consistently, no matter how small it is.
This habit is not here to dramatically improve your progress, but it will indirectly.
The goal of this habit is to keep you in the game. It’s to keep you consistent. It’s to keep you showing up. It’s to show you that despite all of the things that you don’t do or all the things that you are doing wrong, you’re also doing some things right.
For some, this might be drinking water, getting enough sleep, walking the dog, eating veggies with dinner, etc.
No matter how unhealthy you might be right now, there is always something right that you’re already doing.
2) Pick a “low-hanging fruit” habit
A Low-Hanging Fruit habit is another easy-to-do habit, but it’s one that you aren’t doing right now.
This kind of habit often falls into the “What’s the point?” category.
You might feel that because things aren’t going according to plan right now, there’s no point in doing these easy-to-do habits because their benefit can’t outweigh the negatives of other unhealthy habits.
But these are the habits that really shine when you’re “on track” and “on the wagon”.
Look back on some of the past times when you’ve been successful at making progress and identify the healthy habits that you know you CAN do fairly easily, but just haven’t been bothered to do lately.
3) Pick a “scale up” habit
A Scale Up habit is a habit that you already do, but know could/should be so much better.
This is where you start to challenge yourself.
You probably have a few healthy habits that you’re just coasting on and know could be so much better or more consistent.
Typical examples here are drinking water, getting enough steps, going to the gym, etc. You might be drinking 1L of water when you know you should be drinking closer to 2L. You might be walking 4,000 steps a day but know you should be closer to 6,000 or 8,000. You might be going to the gym twice a week but know you should be closer to 3 or 4 times a week.
Challenge yourself to take your current habit and scale it up. Maybe just a bit at first and then scale it up more and more over time.
4) Pick a “game-changer” habit
Game-Changer habits are what really move the needle for results.
Usually, there are 3-4 game-changer habits that if you do repeatedly and consistently enough, it becomes just about inevitable to reach your goals.
These are habits that you can’t hide from, no matter how difficult they are, if you want to make serious progress.
These are typically things like eating a lot of protein and vegetables, finding healthier ways to manage your emotions and stress, getting enough sleep, spending several hours a week exercising at a high enough intensity, dramatically reducing your alcohol intake, eliminating unnecessary snacking, improving your portion control, etc.
If you can nail these, they’ll dramatically improve your results.
Putting it all together:
As I said in the beginning, choosing the right habits is both an art and a science.
Some people make the mistake of going all in on 5-10 different “Game Changer” habits and then find it completely unsustainable. The typical New Year Resolution approach.
While others will pussyfoot around “Easy Win” and “Low-Hanging Fruit” kind of habits, just spinning their wheels and never really making serious forward progress. They’re only dipping their toes in.
But if you pick 1 habit from each category to focus on and then swap them out for new ones over time once you become proficient, you’ll find this journey so much more sustainable and rewarding.
- Easy Win habits help you easily get started.
- Low-Hanging Fruit habits help you keep the momentum going.
- Scale Up habits help you make small continuous improvements.
- Game-Changer habits help you get solid results to keep you motivated.
If you’re looking for some ideas of healthy habits, check out Sleekgeek’s free #21STRONG Habit Tracking Challenge where we have a collection of 40+ bite-sized healthy habits for you to choose from.