It can be difficult to introduce new habits. A useful tool when starting new habits is the ‘if-then plan’, in which you describe how you want to respond to a given situation. In other words, you tell yourself, “if THIS happens, then I will do THAT.” By using an ‘if-then plan’, you very clearly describe what you intend to do.
This may sound a little crazy, but an ‘if-then plan’ can help you teach yourself a new habit. Have a look at the following examples:
- If we’re eating sandwiches together, then we’re going to drink water.
- If we’re planning to leave the house, then we’re going to take a small bottle of water along.
- If my child has just woken up from their afternoon nap, then we’re going for a walk together.
It can be helpful to write down your ‘if-then plan’. You could pin it to your fridge for example. That will remind you to stick to it every day.
For more information and examples have a look at the website of The Netherlands Nutrition Centre.