Wellness Habits Trump Wellness Decision Making
Today's Will Power Moment - 16
with Dr. James Meschino
People who consistently adhere to their weight management and wellness goals tend to have one thing in common: they don’t waste a lot of mental energy trying to make wellness decisions each day, but rather have made a simple decision to convert wellness decisions into habits. In the end, real change is about habits. For everyone, the one sure fire way to make real, lasting changes is to make daily wellness choices a habit, and not a decision that you wrestle with each day. That’s because finding the energy for self-control is hard, but having habits is easy.
Habits are the invisible architecture of life. If our habits are good, then our lives are better – it’s that simple. The truth is, Dietary, Exercise and Sleep habits are important habits within the framework of our lives. Poor health habits (faulty diet, lack of activity, smoking, excess drinking, lack of sleep etc.) are the leading cause of illness, and these health habits are within our control. Changing habits alters your destiny, including your health destiny, healthy life expectancy, and quality of life.
Self-control is a crucial aspect of life. People with better self-control have been shown to be happier and healthier. They also tend to have better relationships, more career success, manage stress and conflict more effectively, they live longer, and are less prone to bad habits. But willpower can only help you succeed so much. You see, we draw down on our willpower during the day, which can lead to ego depletion, and then we don’t follow through. Once you feel mentally tired or overwhelmed by the events of the day, it’s much harder to stick to your wellness intentions if you constantly have to use willpower alone to succeed.
Habits are different – they don’t require the use of will power, because no decision- making is required. Habits are an automatic extension of our lives. In fact, we repeat 40% of our behaviours each day, so our habits shape our existence. If we adopt a new, healthy habit, it helps shape our existence in a more positive way, which makes us feel better about ourselves. This, in turn, leads to a host of secondary benefits that improve our quality of life. The good news is, the improved feeling of wellbeing happens within the first couple of weeks, which helps to strengthen the habit.
The trick is to make your new wellness choices habits, not something that requires daily willpower in order to succeed. In the end, habits make change possible by freeing us from decision making, and from exhausting our self-control and will power. With habits we don’t strain ourselves to make decisions. Life becomes simpler. Habits also comfort us when we are worried, and if they are healthy habits, they help us deal more effectively with stress without gaining weight or turning to drugs or alcohol.
So, what healthy habits do I think you should adopt? Well they’re all listed in the Daily Wellness Checklist, which you can quickly access on your Dashboard Page of the Meschino Wellness Platform. I think you’ll find it fun and informative, and a great tool to help keep yourself on track.
So until we meet again, I’ll encourage you to eat smart, live well, and I know you’re going to look and feel great.
Dr. James Meschino
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.