Have you ever wondered if everyone else in the world knows some secret to making new habits stick that you just don’t? Like no matter what you do, you’re trying to strong-arm every new habit, and it’s just exhausting and doesn’t work? Yet everyone else can make it to the gym every day, drink their water, and do all of the other habits that feel like a distant dream to you.
I too have felt that way in the past, like I was being punk’d. I was left out of the lesson that the elite few somehow got on how to stay consistent.
But I was eventually clued in on the ‘secret’, and I’m no gatekeeper so today I’m going to teach it to you too.
One word: Dopamine
If you have a new hormone-healthy habit you are trying to solidify this year the secret to making it stick around actually comes down to one simple neurotransmitter: dopamine.
Dopamine is the “feel good” chemical that makes us want to keep doing what we’re doing. It lights up the reward center in our brain and increases our motivation and focus. Dopamine is responsible for why we can’t tear ourselves away from things like scrolling social media, binge-watching tv, and eating junk food (all of these habits light up our dopamine centers big time).
Our dopamine centers go into overdrive when we are anticipating a reward; that’s why sometimes thinking about the glass of wine you’re going to drink when you get home is the only thing that powers you through a long work day. Then, when you get home and have the wine it’s good, and all (if you like that sort of thing), but dopamine levels come back down, and it’s really not as exciting as you made it up to be in your head. It’s the anticipation that earns us the biggest boost of dopamine.
The formula everyone needs to know
The good news? There’s actually a SUPER simple formula you can implement to use this powerful system to your advantage too- it’s called temptation bundling. And here’s the formula:
After I [habit you already do], I will [habit you really need to start]
Then, after I [habit you need to start], I will [habit you actually want to do/feels rewarding]
If you already brush your teeth every morning, you know you need to start drinking more water (don’t we all), and you love having your coffee, then the equation is-
After I brush my teeth, I drink a full glass of water
Then AFTER I drink my full glass of water, I can have my coffee
Pairing a new habit with something that feels rewarding goes a long way in making it stick.
So what’s your new temptation bundle going to be? If you need help figuring out which habits to start with on your hormone-balancing journey- that’s where I come in! Book a time to chat here.