The Key To Healthy Habits May Be Simply Removing Obstacles

What if the secret to creating and maintaining healthy habits is actually extremely simple? In many circumstances, the key to healthy habits may just be in removing obstacles. While not all obstacles can be removed with a snap of your fingers, you're likely to be surprised by how easy it is to remove barriers once you're able to identify them. Furthermore, you'll be on your way to reaping the benefits of the healthy habits you've set out for yourself soon after the barriers and obstacles have been moved out of the way. 

Identifying the barriers and knowing how to remove them are the first steps in the process, which is far simpler than you may have ever thought. Remember, positive change doesn't have to be painful, nor should it be. Positive changes and healthy habits can be established with ease and with wellness at the forefront, including your mental well-being. With any habit you want to implement, think of the simplest actions you can take, which will in turn make cultivating the habit less daunting. Removing obstacles to creating new habits isn't as looming as you might think. Here's how you can successfully remove obstacles to create healthy habits in your life and set yourself up for success while enjoying all of the amazing benefits along the way. 

How to identify obstacles in your path

Sometimes the obstacles blocking us from achieving healthy habits are out of our control, but more often than not the barriers keeping us behind the starting line are self-imposed. Whether you realize it or not, it's likely that you've adopted beliefs about certain habits and goals, including your potential to achieve them, that are keeping you from making progress. If this resonates with you, don't worry because you definitely aren't alone! Most people experience self-imposed setbacks or obstacles to achieving goals at some point, with many people experiencing feelings of shame, guilt, and fear in response that only further the cycle of self-imposed barriers. To break this cycle, you must first be able to identify the exact obstacle in front of you that is keeping you from achieving the healthy habit you hope to integrate into your daily life. 

A 2022 study published in the PLoS One journal found reasons why healthy lifestyle habits tend not to be adopted and stuck to on a long-term basis. Two primary factors researchers determined were a lack of personal willpower, otherwise referencing the ability to self-initiate change, and a lack of self-discipline in maintaining any established healthy habits that improve lifestyle and overall wellness. Perhaps you wish to swap your regular afternoon soda for a tall glass of water, or you want to go to the gym more often. One way to begin is by organizing your belongings.

Start with simple organization techniques

The magic trick to keeping up with sustainable lifestyle changes is much smaller than you may believe. Instead of jumping into an ocean of change all at once, start with a single droplet of change by creating small steps to organize your physical space. TikTok user @kikivirk shares that merely organizing shelves and drawers so that the healthiest items are the closest within reach and the items needed for healthy habit development — for example, having quick and easy access to workout clothes — can be the best way to put a new habit into motion

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends first identifying the habits you wish to form, going as far as writing them out and posting them to a key place in your bedroom, bathroom mirror, or on your kitchen fridge so that you'll be certain to see them every day. Then do what you can to make achieving those habits easier. Begin with tasks that take only a few minutes, like rearranging a kitchen drawer or pantry shelf to bring protein powders and healthy snacks to the forefront. When you see a healthy item that is within reach, you'll be more likely to reach for it than if it's tucked far behind at the back of the shelf. The same principle applies to organizing your bedside table so that your affirmation journal and a tall glass of water are waiting for you first thing in the morning.