I know what you are thinking. How could what you keep on your bedside table make any difference at all to your weight loss? What difference does it make whether you own 2 pairs of shoes or 200? How on earth could your stuff even matter in this issue?
It all comes down to your environment- that is, your home, office, car, wherever you spend your time- all being set up to firstly not get in the way of healthy behaviours, and secondly actively encourage healthy behaviours. If all the things around you are making you less motivated, how could you possibly follow a weight loss plan?
All the clutter
What we know is that in most cases having an environment with things piled up everywhere, and no discernible system for organisation, impacts on how clearly you are able to think. You are forever looking for things and not being able to find them, or spending time dusting a thousand things on display, or just feeling overwhelmed with that sensory overload that comes with looking at too much stuff all at once.
Perhaps you are the exception to the rule and are be able to ignore all this and function well, and maybe there is a system to your chaos. Could be you jump out of bed in the morning full of energy, ready to exercise, having already prepped a weeks worth of healthy meals and snacks, and know exactly what you are going to do to lose this weight. Buttttt…. if that were the case you probably wouldn’t be reading this article.
Make healthy behaviours easier
Before you start going through boxes of old magazines or making multiple trips to donation bins, first examine what are the behaviours you will need to take part in on a regular basis that will ensure your success on your weight loss journey and in getting fit? Once you know what you need, you can target the real problem areas and get them to work for you before thinking about tackling the rest (if you even need to at all).
Do you need to be able to cook healthy meals? Having the tools you need like pots, pans, utensils, food processors etc. ready available and having enough bench space for meal prep is essential. Clear all those flyers and bills away, or whatever isn’t going to be needed on a day to day basis, and make your kitchen an area you will actually enjoy preparing food in.
Is your pantry cluttered up with unhealthy food, so that you need to sort through in order to find healthy ingredients? Do you have healthy spices, herbs, and other cooking ingredients at eye level so you don’t need to mentally process the sugar/fat/salt filled sauces?
Do you have workout clothes, socks, and comfortable shoes easily accessible in the mornings or are you digging through your entire wardrobe trying to find something to wear? How about workout equipment? Hidden under boxes in the garage or clean, and ready to be used in plain sight?
Make unhealthy behaviours less likely
Having items out that prompt you to take part in healthy activities is one thing, but you also want to remove the triggers for unhealthy behaviours as well. Maybe you put the chocolate up on the top shelf, and the herbal teas in their place, so when you come looking for something in the evening when it’s Netflix time that’s the first thing you see.
Perhaps you have automatic lights turn on or open the blinds so that the light shines in for your morning wake up, making it less tempting to hit snooze and miss your morning workout.
Why not try for yourself. Just take note of unhealthy behaviours you do on autopilot during the week, think about what the trigger was, and then brainstorm what you can replace that trigger with that will spur on a healthy choice.