Have you ever thought that if you just had more discipline or willpower that it would be easier to stick with that healthy lifestyle? Maybe you know "what" to do, yet somehow are not seeing the success that you are expecting. Sound familiar?
I like to think that I have pretty decent willpower. When I'm out grocery shopping I can generally avoid putting the things in the cart that I know are not healthy choices, and that I quite frankly don't need. Potato chips, candy, ice cream, etc. But last night my willpower was tested. Out to eat with friends at a local Mexican restaurant, a basket of freshly made chips and salsa was set right in front of me. Yep, you guessed it... I ate a bunch of them! It was like I just couldn't stop; the hand to mouth pattern was just stuck on repeat, until the basket was empty.
Why can I avoid the chips at the store, but can't do the same thing at the restaurant? Is it lack of willpower? No, its the environment. The same thing happens at home. When I have cookies in the house, I want to eat them. Ice cream in the freezer, it's calling my name in the evening. But if it's not there, then I don't eat it. Simple as that. Change your environment, and seemingly you will start to have more willpower.
Precision Nutrition has a good article on this same topic that goes a little bit more in depth.
The same concept works with physical activity too. Having trouble getting more steps in the day? Park your car farther away so that you have to walk further into work, buildings, the store, etc.
Coming home after work and struggling to change clothes and get to the gym? Falling into that couch coma with Netflix at your fingertips? Pack your gym clothes and bring them with you to work, no matter how close you live to the gym. Not enough? Change into your gym clothes before you even leave work. Take the potential excuses away and change your environment to change your actions.
Give this whole environment thing a try and see if it works for you too.
Read "Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?"