Prime your environment

Winston Churchill’s famous saying “I can resist anything but temptation” highlights a basic truth about human nature: we can be easily led astray from the best of intentions. We seek quick and easy reward (a good survival mechanism), so when a reward is easily available, it’s much more challenging to resist it.

Here are some simple but effective tips for avoiding the tempting triggers that are likely to set you back:

  • Clear your space of those items that are likely to tempt you. Want to lose weight? Remove the stack of cookies from your cupboard. Want to save some money? Limit your social media accounts to ad-free platforms.
  • Make temptation more challenging to reach. Want to watch less television? Place it (or the remote control) in the loft.
  • Or make your goal easier to reach. Want to drink more water? Keep a full bottle on your desk. Want to go out for a run? Prepare your running gear the night before, shoes right by the door.
  • Find supportive partners – anyone who shares your goals and the journey to get there. These people can keep you motivated, inspired and well informed. Conversely, keep away from negative people who judge your plan of change or have little or no faith in your success.