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Are There Cookies on Your Counter?

Do you have cookies on the counter?

How about chips in the cupboard? Pop in the pantry? Maybe wine in the window? [OK, that’s a stretch but go with me here…it’s an alliteration thing 😆] My friend, you might just be suffering from an environment that doesn’t support your goals. WHAAAT? Let me tell you a story... In 2017, our family took a 7-day Alaskan cruise. If you've never been on such a thing, it’s pretty similar to an all-inclusive resort – except you absolutely can’t get away because you’re surrounded on all sides by the ocean. So, while there might be lots of things to do, there are EVEN MORE things to consume. All-you-can-eat buffets, all-you-can-drink cocktails, fast food canteens, ice cream bars, dessert stations, and fountains dispensing juice 24-7. This was not a supportive environment for my goals. I tried to walk every day. I hit the gym too. I thought I could survive. But it was just too much. My surroundings overwhelmed my ability to make good choices. As food and drink took centre stage, I found myself eating too much, moving too little, and sleeping terribly. Daily life can be a lot like a cruise ship, especially if we don’t take charge of our environment. Your surroundings are a powerful trigger for automatic habits - both negative and positive. If there's a candy dish in living room, more than likely you will reach for one – because it’s there. Why not use that same directed impulse and put a tray of cut up veggies on the kitchen counter? You still get to reach for something, but this time it supports your goals. List time! 5 ways to create positive habit cues:

  • stock the fridge with cut up veggies

  • always keep a fruit bowl on the counter

  • have your workout clothes and shoes set out on a chair

  • fill up your water bottle every morning and leave it in a visible place

  • surround yourself with supportive people

What five things could you change to make creating healthy habits just a little bit easier?

My client was creating a habit of flossing daily so she bought this cute little dry-erase calendar from Indigo to track her progress. Left on the bathroom counter, it's a great visual reminder.


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