Change old, unhealthy habits into new, healthy ones

Of course you can also change an old, rather unhealthy habit into a new healthier one. An example: instead of taking your child to daycare by car, you could easily go on foot or by bicycle. Ask yourself why you go by car. Is it because you’re in a hurry? Or because it’s quicker? Or maybe you think it’s too much of a hassle to take your bicycle out of the shed every day?

Think of situations when you do ride a bicycle. What differs from the situation in which you use the car? The better you realise why you drive, the better you can create a new ‘if-then plan’.

You can also use the ‘if-then plan’ to change an existing habit.

If ….. fill in the situation where you want to change something.

Then …. write down what you’re planning to do next time.

An example: If I need to take my child somewhere, then I’ll prepare my bicycle lock key the night before.


Create a positive ‘if-then plan’, so write down what you will do rather than what you won’t do.

DO: If I feel like snacking, then I will go for a walk.
DON’T: If I feel like snacking, then I won’t do it.

So under then write what you will do.

You can also change your child’s habits. Below you will discover how Lieke’s children are learning to drink water simply by changing their habits.

Lieke, mother of Luna (5 years old), Tijn (3 years old) and Sanne (1.5 years old):

My eldest son and daughter, Tijn and Luna, refuse to drink water. I’ve been giving them juice since they were young. I’m trying to reduce that by diluting the juice with more and more water every time. We also introduced a rule: when we’re having dinner, we drink only water. It took the children a while to get used to that. They totally disagreed. I introduced this rule three weeks ago and I’ve noticed it’s becoming less of a struggle to get them to drink water. They are slowly but surely getting used to it.