Life Coaching Tip: Struggling to create new habits? By following the example of our squirrel friends as they prepare for winter, you can create an environment that will make it easy to accomplish your goals (and difficult to fail). What if you decided right now to commit to change for reals and set yourself up for success? “Future You” would be delighted, my friend!
I have always thought of squirrels as industrious little creatures. I so admire them for their work ethic, tenacity, and planning.
Even before autumn sets in, they are usually bustling around the woods with their mouths full of acorns, nuts, and seeds on a mission to bury their bounty.
It’s amazing that squirrels instinctively know to prepare for wintertime by stashing away their future meals while the weather is mild and pleasant. When I see them in action, I think about what a splendid example they are of intentional living.
Squirrels take care of their “future selves” far in advance. They make it simpler and more convenient for themselves to survive and thrive in the cold, wintery months.
When adopting new habits, we humans can surely learn a thing or two from our furry squirrel friends.
Strategizing to make it easy to succeed and difficult to fail is the name of the game!
For instance, when I committed to a weight loss goal a while back, the first thing I did was fill my refrigerator and pantry with nutrient-dense foods that were healthy and tasty. And I removed all the high-calory junk food from my house. This simple act alone worked like magic!
When I was hungry, the kinds of foods I wanted to eat were conveniently right there front and center. And if I was considering chips or ice cream for a snack, I would have to inconveniently get in my car and drive to the store which rarely felt worth the effort.
You can do the same thing for any new lifestyle change or habit you’d like to implement.
Want to start your day with less stress? Create convenience for yourself the night before by packing your lunch, setting out your clothes, and setting up the coffee pot to turn on automatically first thing in the morning. Then, make it inconvenient for yourself to sleep in by moving your phone or alarm clock out of reach, so you must get out of bed to hit the snooze button.
Want to run a marathon? Make it a breeze to train by joining a running group that meets close to your home or office, keeping your running shoes/clothes in your car, and mapping out a running plan ahead of time. Then, make it a pain to quit by signing-up and paying the non-refundable entrance fee for the race in advance.
Want to spend more quality time with other humans and less time on social media? Schedule future “play dates” with friends and family weeks ahead of time—so no need for last minute decisions and calendar rearrangements. Then, take social media apps off your phone altogether so you must log in from your laptop every time you have an urge to check IG—making doomscrolling inconvenient and not worth the effort.
You get the idea.
Seems obvious, but it’s not always when you’re not totally committed to change.
Once, when a client told me she wanted to quit smoking, I suggested she throw out her pack of cigarettes, making the habit less convenient to maintain.
Well, she looked at me like I was bananas. “Noooo” she protested, “I don’t want to do that!”
It sure doesn’t take a life coach to recognize that this client wasn’t yet committed to change—even though her future self would have surely appreciated it.
I’m wondering, what are you doing today to make it convenient for your future self to succeed?
Are you living intentionally?
What if you decided right now to pledge to change for reals and set yourself up for success?
Listen, if squirrels can do it, you can too.
Living unintentionally in your one-and-only life, repeating unhealthy habits, and “hoping” for change (but not really committing to it), is just . . .
Sorry, my friend, I just couldn’t help myself! (giggle) Roll your eyes if you must!
PS: Accountability is another useful strategy in setting yourself up for success. Working with a life coach can provide you the accountability needed to establish healthy habits. Ready for more? Check out my private coaching page.