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So, why is healthy eating any different?
Why can't you make it work?

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HINT: It has nothing to do with discipline or willpower.


For High-Achieving Women

Jan 30

The 5 Principles of Healthy Habit Formation

Habit Formation Kat Rentas

Forming any healthy habit can feel extremely difficult if you don’t know how proper habit formation works.

While habit formation is simple, it’s actually a tedious process that involves training our brains to do what we want them to.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how difficult managing our minds can be.

Needless to say, it can feel incredibly frustrating.

Especially when you want to change for the better.

You can have all the desire in the world to eat healthily, go to the gym, or think productive thoughts.

But, if you don’t have the right tactics to measure up against your brain, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure from the start.

It’s like running into battle with no weapon.

In this article, I’m going to provide you with the habit formation tricks you’ll need to kick your brain into gear towards your future, healthy-habit self.

By using the strategies I give you here, you’ll walk away with a clear-cut battle plan to form any healthy habit you desire.

So, let’s get into it!

The 5 Tricks To Healthy Habit Formation

1) Manage Your Mind Daily

This first tip goes without saying; however, you’d be surprised how few people actually take the time to prioritize brain management.

Having an unsupervised mind is like letting someone else sit in the driver’s seat.

It relinquishes all control and leaves you reacting to the less than spectacular results in your life.

There’s no question it’s dangerous and will never allow you to form healthy habits.

So, how do we manage our minds properly for success?

It’s very simple.

First, you need to understand this chain of events:

  • Our thoughts create our feelings
  • Our feelings spur our actions
  • Our actions determine our results
  • All of these factors are neutral to our circumstances

In short, this means our thoughts ultimately produce the results we have in life.

And all of these factors, including our results, our independent of our circumstances.

So, let’s say you’ve had trouble getting up on time in the mornings.

Here’s an example of where the sequence goes wrong for you:

  • Thought: “Even if I try to wake up earlier, I know I’ll still fail.”
  • Feeling: Self-doubt
  • Action: Snoozing the alarm and sleeping in
  • Result: Not waking up early

From this model, you can understand why you’ve been failing to form healthy habits.

So, the trick is to intentionally create thoughts that lead you in the right direction.

An easy way to figure out the thought you need is to work backward from the result you want.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you wanted to create a sequence that allowed you to wake up early on a regular basis:

  • Result: Getting up at 6:00 AM
  • Action: Turning my alarm off and immediately stepping in the shower
  • Feeling: Self-Assured
  • Thought: “I have made the decision to wake up at 6:00 AM every morning. Therefore, it’s as good as done. So, I don’t have to stress about it.”

I make this thought sequence a part of my morning routine every single day.

I work backward from the result I want to create that day.

The key is to committing to this practice daily.

And, remembering that thoughts are simply sentences in your head.

Which means you have the power to change your thoughts at any time.

This gives them less power over you.

2) Establish Your Minimum Baseline

When attempting to form a healthy habit, many of us move way too quickly.

For example, if you try and form a gym habit, going for 5-days a week right off the bat will likely not work out long-term.

This is not a one-size-fits-all approach; however, this is generally the case.

What’s important to understand, is just the act of following through is a skill you have to learn!

You’ll need to train yourself to commit to plans you make.

Which means, your ability to follow through at the start of your journey will suck.

Here’s an example of what many do that results in failure:

  • Wants to change and finally form a healthy habit. Commits to being “perfect” and following through with that healthy habit every day.
  • Inevitably fails after a few days. Doesn’t understand why. Makes it personal. Quits.

Just for full transparency…I did this for YEARS.

And, I never even knew it was happening!

This type of sequence occurs because you didn’t train yourself to commit, which happens by establishing a “minimum baseline.”

A minimum baseline is the least amount of anything you’re willing to do.

For example, going to the gym 5-days a week might seem outlandish to you at first.

But, you know for sure you’ll make it to 2-days a week!

So, you start there. Since you know there’s no possible way you’ll fail.

After a couple weeks of doing this, you feel more comfortable, so you raise your minimum baseline to 3-days a week.

And so on…

See how this works?

Establish a minimum baseline that works for you and guarantees follow-through.

Then, and only then, will you be able to raise that minimum baseline over time.

What’s amazing, is if you approach forming healthy habits this way, it doesn’t take nearly as long as you think to form them!

3) Create a Compound Effect

This is a crucial concept to understand before you form any healthy habit.

In order to create lasting change, you’ll need to form a “compound effect”.

In it’s simplest form this means, the more you do it, the more you do it.

It’s really just committing to a lot of seemingly insignificant actions to produce one earth-shattering result.

This is the concept you’ll need to keep handy when it feels like you’re making ZERO progress.

I promise you this: every step you take in the right direction is a pivotal step towards your future, next-level self.

So, make sure you’re creating this compound effect over time.

There’s no fast track towards the finish line.

You owe it to your future-self to commit every day when things feel the same.

Only then will you create healthy habits long term.

4) Get Uncomfortable Every Single Day

This is probably my favorite tip I give when it comes to healthy habit formation.

In order to create any change you desire, you’re going to have to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.

The amount of discomfort you’re willing to feel is directly correlated with your success.

This comes to anything in your life.

You can’t pamper your way to results.

In order to grow and thrive, your body WILL experience discomfort.

What really changed this concept for me was seeing discomfort differently.

Previously, I would think of discomfort has a form of tough-love self-punishment.

Which made discomfort seem inherently negative and almost “dirty”.

Now, I choose to see discomfort as a loving-friend that only wants the best for me.

I see it as the ultimate form of self-care.

Because let’s face it…I’ve never felt the same satisfaction after a bubble-bath as I have when I’ve productively conquered my goals for the day.

That’s self-care, guys.

So, get comfortable experiencing discomfort.

It’s healthy and should be encouraged.

If you take nothing else away from this article, this tip alone will get you one-hundred times closer to forming healthy habits.

5) Prepare For Failure/Setbacks

This is a really big one and I’m so excited to share it with you.

Many of us are raised to believe that failure is negative.

Which means when we fail, we make it mean something negative about us personally.

I super relate to this concept, as I made failure mean something personal for years.

Every time I failed it would prove to myself, yet again, that I was incapable and unworthy of the results I wanted.

I’m going to be straight up…

…this sh*t needs to STOP.

We need to stop raising our children and making ourselves believe, that failure is dirty.

The truth is…failures are the greatest waypoints to success.

You cannot achieve success at anything in life without failure.

They are the greatest lessons you’ll learn.

And, with the right mindset, they’ll be the greatest motivators for you to reach your future-self.

An easy to way start seeing failure in the right way, is to keep a journal of your failure goals.

So, you’ll make a goal every month to have a certain amount of failures.

Over the month you’ll write all these failures down, and the lessons you learned.

At the end of the month, you’ll look at these failures with pride.

Since they’re directly responsible for you growing into the best version of yourself.

See how this works?

Failure can be a beautiful concept if you practice if in a healthy manner.

This concept will change your life.

To Wrap Things Up…

Alright, guys!

I hope you can walk away today with some helpful, tangible tips to get you forming those healthy habits.

The concepts here are what really made the difference in my life.

For years I would pick healthy habits up and put them back down in a matter of weeks.

If you really commit to the ideas presented here, you WILL be able to design a life you love and create that future.

I believe in you!

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Kat Rentas, Healthy Eating Coach

Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right placeYou can read my full story here.