What are Intelligent Habits?

Gazelli Habit Coach Dr Heather McKee

Gazelli Habit Coach Dr Heather McKee

I’d like you to close your eyes and take a second to visualise what your life might be like if you succeeded in achieving your goals – whether these involve eating more healthily, doing more exercise, or improving your emotional wellbeing by changing the balance of your commitments. What does this new life look like for you? Open your eyes and write down what you see if you think this would be helpful. 

So often when we come to imagine what success might look like, we think of ourselves as achieving a ‘perfect body’ or ‘perfect weight’. But this restrictive vision of success might actually be the very thing that’s holding you back from benefiting from long-term improvements to your health and wellbeing.

Success isn’t just about the end result: it is more helpful to think of it as a process and a journey. And at least in my opinion (as well as according to the findings of a number of research studies), it is more likely to look like one or more of the following:

  • Getting up early to make your breakfast and a healthy packed lunch before the children wake up to distract you.

  • Leaving the security of a warm bed to put on your running shoes, step out into a frosty street and put one foot in front of the other because you made a commitment to yourself and to your health.

  • Having a camomile tea to unwind instead of a bottle of wine to escape your feelings. 

  • Meeting a friend for an exercise class or a run because you promised to support each other.

  • Batch cooking dinners as you know you are going to be late home from work this week, when really you would rather lie on the couch and watch Netflix.

Ultimately, we are defined by the things we find ourselves doing repeatedly. The way we form habits is through the repetition of basic actions within a particular context – in other words, if you do the same thing in the same context often enough, it will become a habit. So if we want to change our habits to improve our lives, we need to understand what makes us cling to routines that are bad for us and what will motivate us to create new ones.

To create new habits that will last, we need to focus on being successful on a daily basis rather than visualising an ideal goal we wish to achieve. And in creating new habits, what will drive and motivate us are the things we enjoy. If every small step you take on the road to change is a reward in itself, then success ceases to be just a destination but becomes a way of life.

So close your eyes and think again – what does success look like for you?

What might you be doing on a daily basis to achieve your aims? Who might be with you to support you? What might you be drinking, eating, doing or thinking? Where might you be? How will you recover from any setbacks you encounter along the way? How will you overcome the barriers of being too busy, too tired, or simply bored? And most importantly, what will this success feel like for you?

Creating a system for change – a way of encouraging and reinforcing better routines, habits and behaviours – is what delivers success. And this is exactly what we will be achieving in the Intelligent Habits Masterclass. Drawing on the latest research-based evidence, I have created a framework to enable you to develop the mindset and skills that will deliver success in the long term. Over the course of four weekly sessions, you will learn how to:

·       Create systems for lasting change

·       Develop a resilient mindset

·       Recognise the importance of self-kindness

·       Overcome your barriers to change

·       Set up your life to avoid relying on willpower

·       Distinguish emotional hunger from physical hunger

·       Get full enjoyment from being healthy

If you are serious about making lasting changes to your health – whether sticking to a better diet, exercising more or looking after your mental health – then this is the course for you!

The course starts on 29 April 2019 and will be delivered over four consecutive weeks (by request, this course is also available for group bookings on different dates). In order to create the most supportive environment, places are limited to a handful of participants. Places will be offered on a first-come basis, after which your name will be placed on a waiting list for the next available course. To secure your place on this course, email: bookings@gazelli.co.uk