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3 Habits Hacks From The World’s Leading Expert!

I promised you when I last wrote to you about the amazing science of habits for weight management, that I would provide you with some powerful hacks to start you off on your journey of exploring the power of habits.

In my last blog, I introduced you to Australia’s only full-time habits researcher, and pioneer in habit change programs for weight management, Dr. Gina Cleo.

Well, Gina and I have been working together on a special project1, and I asked her if – as the real expert – she’d be willing to share three of her favourite habits hacks, to help you begin to benefit from what we know about the emerging science of habit change2.

Thank goodness – she was happy to!

So – without further ado, and coming from the world-leading expert herself, here are Dr. Cleo’s three top tips for changing your habits:

1. Set a Trigger

Behaviours are actions that you consciously think about and decide on, like what to have for dinner, or what to wear to work. Habits, on the other hand, are subconscious and mindless. Habits are enacted when they are triggered – and that trigger can be the time of day, the place you’re in, or the action that you just did. For example, 12:00pm triggers the habit of eating lunch; sitting in your car triggers the habit of putting on your seatbelt; and your morning routine triggers the habit of brushing your teeth! So hack number one for changing your habits is to set a trigger for the habits you want to create.

Physical activity example:

If your goal is to go for a daily walk, for example, instead of saying, ‘I’m going to walk for 30-minutes a day’, you could change it to ‘at 7:00am3, I’m going to go for a 30-minute walk’. With repetition, 7:00am will automatically trigger your new walking habit and you won’t have to consciously think about doing it!

Food-related example:

If your goal is to eat fruit daily, instead of saying ‘I’m going to eat a piece of fruit a day’, it could become ‘when I’m having breakfast4, I will eat a piece of fruit’. Over time and repetition, having breakfast will automatically trigger your new habit of eating fruit, and it will just happen as if on autopilot!

2. Small changes make BIG differences 

Numerous studies show that large or complex changes are not only more difficult to achieve, but they are more difficult to sustain, compared with small, simple changes. Creating tiny habits adds up to lifestyle changes much more effectively than trying to create big changes.

Physical activity example:

Instead of setting a goal to walk 10,000 steps per day (which may be beneficial to your health, but is rarely achieved if you’re starting from sedentary!) set a goal to ‘increase daily steps taken when walking’, then build on your step count each week or month.

Food-related example:

If your goal is to increase your veggie intake, instead of starting with a goal of ‘eating 5 serves of vegetables a day’ (which may be the recommendation, but is challenging to achieve if it’s not already a habit), you could start with ‘I’m going to increase my veggie serve with dinner by ½ a cup’. Then build on your veggie serves each week or month.

Consistency is the secret sauce to forming new habits (it’s all about consistency, not intensity!). There’s a quote I love by Richard Scott that says:

‘We become what we want to be,
by consistently being what we want to become each day.’

3. Keep accountable

External accountability is essential for habit change, and research shows that it doubles your chances of achieving your goals. So, regularly check in with friends, family, coaches, and health professionals, and use a Habit Tracker1 to really help cement your new habits into your daily lifestyle. What I adore about the TSC program you have created is the support and accountability the community offers each other!

(Glenn’s note, I didn’t pay Gina to say this ;), and – in fact – making our online community so closely supported was a decision made, in part, from Gina’s recommendation where she spoke about the importance of accountability in our 2019 Podcast5).

Well, there you have it – I hope you enjoyed reading these simple but game changing hacks from our community’s first ever ‘guest blogger’6. I always find what Gina has to say about habits inspirational, and my clients have certainly benefitted profoundly from what I’ve learned from her, so I hope you have discovered something helpful from hearing directly from Gina too!

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the hacks – and your experiences as you attempt to implement them into your life – so please be in contact if you have anything you’d like to share (with either of us!).

As I mentioned earlier, Gina and I are working on something verrrryyyyyy special (and never done before!), so please, stay tuned, and look forward to us sharing more details with you in a special FREE webinar that I’ll let you know about soon ☺ ☺ ☺


Yours in creating some brand new healthy habits,

Glenn & Gina

1. More on this later!

2. If you’ve been reading my blog for while, you’ll know how much of a BIG DEAL this is! In 64 blogs (I just counted – wow!), written over the course of 8 years, and now with almost 40,000 subscribers – I’ve never before invited a guest blogger!

3. 7:00am is just an example, pick any time that suits you ☺

4. Again, breakfast is just an example, pick any other meal that works ☺

5. Note: In the podcast, Gina mentions working with the Sum Sanos program. Due to a change in their direction, Gina no longer supports this program. But don’t worry, we have something really special we’re going to announce about Gina and I working together to give you an even more transformational program. I’ve been wanting to bring Gina’s special brand of science-based habit change to you for years now, and I can’t say how excited I am that the time has almost come!

6. And I’d love to hear your thoughts about having more guest bloggers in the future – I found it fun, but I’m keen to hear your thoughts – at the end of the day, it’s all about what is helpful for you!