4 Keys to Building Better Habits (Part 2)

Systems, Processes, Environment

Today we’re moving on to Part 2 – Focus on Systems, Processes, and Environment – of our 4 Keys to Building Better Habits series.

Whatever goal, dream, hope, New Year’s Resolution you are trying to achieve, habits are a great way to get you to success! A coach is also a great support to helping you achieve the success, the happiness, the joyful, optimized living you are seeking 😊

If you Haven’t read Part 1 of the series go and read it now to find out why focusing on long-term sustainability is 1 of the keys to building better habits.

Before we dive in, the 4 Keys to Building Better Habits are:

  1. Focus on Long-Term Sustainability, not short-term gain/instant gratification
  2. Focus on Systems, Processes, and Environment, not outcomes or results
  3. Focus on who you want to become
  4. Focus on getting clear around your goals and just start!

Parts 3 & 4 Coming Soon!

Focus on systems, processes, and environment, not outcomes or results

Why is building our environment for success so important? Because willpower only works in the short-term. If we have a system/process/environment in place we will not have to rely on willpower.

Geometric shot of building in MSU campus.

Another important reason setting our environment up to work for us, not against us – we may not always be aware of when a cue is triggering a habit. For example – if you are packing your food for the day and the chips/crackers are on top of the fridge but the carrots are inside the fridge out of sight – you are more likely to reach for the chips/crackers because they are an obvious cue. But if you put the chips/crackers in a cupboard and your first step is to look inside the fridge and see the carrots instead, you are more likely to grab the carrots. We must set ourselves up for success.

Taking this “eat more veggies” example further….or further back if you will. If you never (or less frequently) brought the chips/crackers in the house you would be controlling the inputs even more. So that the output you are seeking – eating more vegetables – becomes even easier. With no “negative” input available, and only carrots or “positive” inputs available, you are more likely to get the positive outcome/result you are trying to create. (Quotes around “positive” and “negative” – as we need to take care when describing foods and food habits as good/bad, positive/negative – this is rarely an all or nothing issue – so much gray area around “eating well.”)

Ideally, we would create environments (home, work, etc) for ourselves that have minimal “problems” so that our habits are developed for improvement or optimization rather than cleaning up or fixing larger issues. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but no matter where you are starting from, creating habits from your environment/systems/processes can help get you where you want to be.

We must take back control of and be the architects of our own lives – we must focus on systems not goals, and processes not outcomes. If we fix the inputs in our lives, in our environments – the outputs, the outcomes/results, will fix themselves. Author James Clear says in his book Atomic Habits, “We do not rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems.” Goals and aspirations are important as a starting point, but we must have the systems, processes, habits in place to support them.

What goals, dreams, hopes, results/outcomes are you working to achieve currently? Do you need help setting up your environment for success? Setting up your processes and systems to support you on your journey? Contact me today so we can work together to make it happen for you!

For more ideas on developing habits, optimizing your life, and living more joyfully, check these out:

Want even more tips, tricks, and ideas for living well through nature, nourishment, movement and mindset? You know you do!

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