How to Start Building Daily Habits for Your Health & Wellbeing
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have the lovely Nicole Mercer with me, and she is a health and wellness coach, and her company is Life Now Coaching. Today we are gonna be talking about something that is all too important and that is how to start building daily habits for your health and wellbeing.
So welcome. I’m very excited to have you here. This is a topic and we’re still in January as this is being aired and this is such an important topic because without daily habits, you know, Without building those habits, we can’t succeed and we can’t build on them and form those patterns. I’m very excited to hear about this, but I would also like to hear about you and your background and how you got started.
So I’m quite a new health and wellness coach, new to the entrepreneurial world. I worked for Nike, obviously, a big global brand and I’d been there just over 20 years. I was made redundant on March of 21 and was quite lost thinking, what do I do next?
You know, I’d worked there for such a long time and I loved the company and the culture and thinking about how I would move forward and replace. That was quite challenging and scary as well, and I decided to just take a little bit of time to think about what came next and decided to start training to become a personal trainer because I’m super passionate about exercise and moving your body every.
And it just kind of evolved as I started to do that training and dipping my tools into some blogging and, and just thinking about the whole wellness piece because.
Health and wellness have, along with exercise, always been something that I’m interested in. A lot of my journey with health, both mental and physical health.
It’s kind of led me down that path where I’ve had that real interest in the impact health and wellness can have on your life, especially for women. So yeah, I just evolved into where I am now by setting up my own business and becoming a health and wellness coach. So it’s really exciting.
Learning lots of new things, meeting lots of new people, and just, yeah, really looking forward to helping as many women as I can to, you know, improve their overall health and wellbeing in their own lives.
Yeah, thank you. I won’t say that it’s not scary, you know, there are lots of ups and downs and it’s still very early days. But so far I am enjoying it. And I think one of the big things that I’ve learned quite quickly is how much else there is out there.
You know, Nike is such a huge company and there was just, you know, so much. Involved in the job that I did. It was really exciting and dynamic and I was just wrapped up in that bubble and kind of thought that was it. You know, I loved what I did, so I didn’t experience what else was out there.
And that’s been the big eye-opener, is that there are so many opportunities and great businesses, and what I’ve seen is a lot of women, you know, running their own business on their own, who are making a real difference in people’s lives. Yeah, it’s, it’s quite a scary journey to be on, but I’m hoping. It has been the right decision for me.
I think it has. And being with the company for 20 years, you don’t necessarily think that there’s gonna be a next step other than maybe retirement, you know? But yeah, I think it’s awesome. You’re setting an amazing example for women everywhere, so I am very excited that you are here.
How Daily Habits Affect Our Health and Well-Being, and Then How in the World Can We Get Them To Stick?
The reason why they’re important is that habits are running the show. So you know, in everyone’s lives, so much of what you do every day comes from the habits that you’ve formed, and a lot of those habits have been formed from quite a young age and formed and performed each day without you even realizing them.
They’re super important because of every day. Somewhere around 40 to 50% of the things you do. Come from habits. So you know, they are playing a massive role in your life every day. And the habits, you know, fit into what you think, what you feel, as well as the actions that you’ve taken as well. So when it comes to your health, you need to have the right habits in place because over half of the things that you’re doing every day or around half of the things are coming from habits.
Being healthy needs to just fit as part of your overall lifestyle. I think what happens with a lot of people is when they consider trying to be healthier, you know, they might say, oh, I want to lose weight, or I want to get fit there, or I want to take better care of myself. You know, those kinds of phrases. And then they just, Right. Okay. I’ve said that. Now it can happen.
Because as you mentioned with the treadmill, you know, you might say, oh, I’m gonna get open, I’m gonna go on the treadmill in the morning, I’m gonna do a run. So you’ve said it and you’ve set the intention. Whether you do it or not is another thing. You know, you’ve gotta force yourself. You have to make it happen in some way.
And you get up the next morning, you might think, oh, I feel a bit tired. I’m a little bit sluggish today. No, I’m not gonna go on the treadmill today. And that’s because it’s not a habit, it’s not there as part of just you, your natural life and lifestyle. So that’s why it is so important to form habits.
Choosing to be healthy isn’t something that should be a one-off or should keep happening, and you keep feeling out. It should be something that is just part of everyone’s lives, especially women’s. And a lot of the women who caution at the moment are women who own their businesses as well.
And so it’s even more important that they take care of their health to be able to perform. You know, every day and running their own business and, alongside that, usual families in a home and everything else along with it.
You want health to just be part of who you are in your lifestyle, and the best way to make that happen is to have the right habits in place so that you can do the things that you need to do to be healthy without having to continuously think about it, continuously, push yourself, not do things, then feel like you’re failing, beat yourself up about it, and just get trapped in that whole cycle of, you know, trying, putting some effort in and not happening, give up, failing deflated. And then you’re back to the beginning again at another point.
What Are the Biggest Challenges That You’ve Seen All of Them Facing When It Comes to Forming Those Habits?
I think there are two things. The first one is time. So for many people, especially women, Time is the biggest barrier. You know it, it’s always a case of feeling that your life is so busy, and again, a lot of people approach the decision or the desire to be healthy.
This means that they need to put the time in the words, you know, the approach, it is something that has to be a task on their to-do list. And, you know, you have so many other things to do that it ends up being pushed to the bottom of the list and not getting done. So that’s the first barrier.
And then the second one is that you know, I can’t say that it is easy. It is hard to create new habits and to create positive right Habits that are going to overtake those bad habits because bad habits don’t disappear and you don’t break a bad habit by choosing to say, I’m gonna break that habit.
You stop the habit by putting a better habit in place of it, but it’s always there. It’s always underneath. And so I think, yeah, it is hard and lacking. Put a lot of people off and you will fail. And that failure does lead to failure as though it’s just impossible to make happen. So that, yeah, that’s the two biggest things. And you know, that pretty much is what leads to a lot of women not being able to put the habits they want into.
On the time issue, my advice is, To not approach it as a task is another thing to do. You are making a big choice and taking a big leap forward to, you know, say I’m gonna take steps to become healthier.
So you see it as something that will fit into your lifestyle that won’t need more time. It doesn’t necessarily need more money, you know, against either. So just trying to have a different mindset at the beginning. With the habit of being clear on what it is you want to change first. Because again, a lot of people can look and think, but I need to change so many things. You know, they might say, well, I need to change what I eat.
I need to change how much I move around. I need to change the way I sleep, and the way I stress over things. And we look at everything and then it becomes overwhelming. So break it down and identify the habits that are the ones. You would like to put it in place first because they’re gonna make the most impact.
So start small and then it comes from practice. So practicing what it is that you want them to put in place. So just say you think, right? And the most important thing for me at the moment is that I need to move more.
You know, a lot of women, again, Especially those running their businesses, sat in front of a screen for many, many hours of the day, sometimes into the evening and late at night as well.
So they’re probably not moving very much. So if a client said to me, you know, this is the main thing I need to focus on is being more active and getting more movement regularly, and we say, okay, you know, we’d work. What exactly does that mean for her? And so we came to it three times a week. She’s gonna take a lunch break to go for a walk or maybe even a jog.
And then we, you need to start working on that particular habit and putting in little steps and cues as we call them, to make that happen. Run or walk up at lunchtime. So for example, blocking that time out in the calendar so that it’s in there, you don’t schedule something else. At the same time, you’ve got a reminder that comes up to tell you to do it.
And then you have to do it, and it has to be repeated with consistency so that it does become a habit. And that is literally how habits are formed through repetition. The final kind of partner that helps.
Probably more than anything is that habits are formed in our brains. There’s a lot of psychology involved in all of it, but the reward system’s really important in creating that action to be an actual habit.
So you need to have the rewards. So if you did that walk or jog on a lunch break, you need to make sure that you. Given some reward from it. So for example, tell yourself your heart was great. I enjoyed it.
You know, I got outside, I had fresh air. It was lovely to be away from my desk, you know, and then there are things like just rewarding yourself because you took that action, you know, saying, for example, you were great there.
You did put it in your calendar, you stuck to it, you got up, and you left your desk. And so that reward is what kind of closes the line and makes it form as a hub because your brain now thinks, oh, that felt nice and I like that. And our brains work on it. Wanting to do the easiest thing for us to save the most energy.
That’s how we intrinsically work as humans. So that’s why the brain likes to form habits because it wants to just know. Next time it sees that queue, it’ll just pick that file out of the filing cabinet if you picture it like that and say, oh, this is the file that I need to open in action because of what’s just happened here. And it’s easy and it’s done and there’s very little energy needed. So it will, it will form, but it just takes that little bit of time to get established and put in.
And that’s a really good way for people to visualize it. When you first start talking about this with people, it can be quite a strange thing to think about the fact that you were doing so many things that you aren’t really in control of, not consciously anyway, and you know those subconscious habits. A lot of them do come from when you were a very young child.
Why will it make you? The way you want to. Why does it the way you want to? Fit into what it is you want from life, because once you understand that, then you can be much more committed and driven to say, okay, actually, yeah, I am gonna exercise because this matters to me for these reasons. Rather than just saying, oh, I’m gonna start exercising next week, or I’m gonna start eating healthy on Monday. You know, you need to get into. Grippy of why it matters to you.
I had a conversation in the car with my nine-year-old yesterday, and she asked me a question and I said, because, that was the answer. It’s like that quintessential answer that you as a parent give your child at some point in time that you got when you were little and you hate it. But, she was like, well, why? And I was like, That’s the answer.
Like, just because I don’t know how to explain it, but what you’re saying is going beyond that because like, why should I exercise? Well, because it’s, you know, good for you. Like that’s just common sense. But going beyond that because is really what you’re, saying that we need to kind of figure out. And I love that. I think it’s necessary.
That’s quite funny actually, that example you’ve just given. Your child in the car because I did a blog piece a few weeks ago on this little question of why, and that was one of the examples I used there. You know how children ask why all of the time, and you know, well, why?
Why? And as a parent, you do just go, well, just because of, yeah. Oh, that’s just how it is. But a child’s mind is the right way to think and approach things. And as adults, we tend to move away from that because we just accept things as they are.
We don’t question, you know, well, why? Why does that work that way? Or Why do I have to do that? You know, we’re in this culture of acceptance and doing and fitting in with the norms. So yeah, it is something as adults we need to get a little bit better at asking ourselves.
Those first steps are always the hardest. You know, just making those first little changes and what deters people from making the changes they want because it just fails beyond reach. So if you can just make those first couple of steps, it can then boost, you know, your confidence and your motivation to go further and start making the changes you’re looking for.
If you are interested in downloading that guide, you can click on the link that is in the show notes and you will get it. Very excited and very thankful to have you here and to share all of this amazing knowledge with our guests.
That’s okay. I enjoyed it, Amanda. Thank you. And yeah, if people download and have got any questions, by all means, they are welcome to Reach Out and I’m happy to help and give hope a little bit of motivation.
I like to hang out on Instagram. I’m on Facebook as well in both places. You can find me as a life coach, and you’ll see on Instagram that there are lots of tips and motivation and just yeah, connection as well. So by all means, please come along and give me a follow.
Awesome. That’s great. Well, thank you for being here and we will be excited to get your guide. Great. I hope that you get some use from me. Thank you.