According to the study, the most common British excuses for bad habits are: “I don’t have time”, “I’m tired” and “It’s too cold”.
A survey of 2,000 adults found that two excuses are made up every day to justify giving up healthy habits.
Half of those surveyed admit to spending more time making up excuses than it would take to actually complete the task they are trying to avoid.
Some of the wacky excuses included “have to spend time with their hamster”, “their dog ate their shoes”, and “they washed their hair”.
“Being busy with the kids” and “their favorite TV show is on” were also some of the top excuses for giving up a healthier lifestyle.
It also found that more than half of the adults admitted they would find other things they “should” do as opposed to a healthy task like going to the gym.
Avoidance tactics included cleaning, reaching “that level” in a video game, and being responsible for a busy day at work.
But 39% felt frustrated, anxious, or sad after finding an excuse not to do something healthy.
Bassetts Vitamins conducted research to better understand healthy habit formation, which led to the development of a motivational tool to help encourage people to complete these tasks.
Neuroscientist Katherine Templar-Lewis says: “Healthy habits are harder to form than bad habits because they can seem more difficult and take longer to feel rewarded.
“Bad habits become unconscious shortcuts that we take. We use our brain’s ability for “confirmation bias” to come up with excuses to justify why we don’t take on healthy habits – we feel better with the wrong excuses and fit the facts into our own agenda.
“Negativity tends to convince us that our good habits are harder than they really are.
“However, once a habit is formed, it is like a muscle—the more you exercise, the easier it becomes.
“Small steps can be taken to help healthy habits not seem like a chore and just become part of our daily lives.”
The study found that young adults aged 18 to 24 were most likely to feel less motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle due to the pandemic, with 68% feeling this way, compared to 40% of all struggling adults.
KATHRYN TEMPLAR-LEWIS’ TOP TIPS FOR CREATING ACHIEVABLE GOALS:
one. Start small: a simple, small, achievable step, like taking a daily vitamin that you can do every day, will strengthen your willpower and lay the foundation for a new, long-term habit. Once you start one, the others will be easier and will start to fall into place.
2. Instant Rewards: Make sure these small achievable steps are positive actions. Positive actions will result in a dose of “dopamine,” the pleasant chemical reward of knowing we have instantly done something good for ourselves.
3. Positive Motivation: It is important to focus on the positive benefits of the habit we are forming. This will help counteract our negative bias, which can focus on the negative, and help us find and justify excuses.
4. Start of the day: Our willpower is always much stronger at the beginning of the day (when we are less tired) – this will positively affect the whole day.
5. Understanding: We ALL struggle with forming good habits, especially in light of the last few years. Recognizing this helps create a sense of community. Stop blaming yourself and start with small habits!
As a result, young people come up with three excuses a day to avoid something healthy.
And 22% of that age group named wine as one of their “five a day,” compared to one in 10 adults who also named fruit smoothies like dakiri or mojitos as part of their recommended intake.
It also found that one in ten adults started taking vitamins in January but was unable to maintain them.
While one in five starts and stops taking vitamins regularly, the main reasons are that they forget about them or find them boring.
But while it can be difficult to adopt a new healthy habit on your own, 57% said they were more likely to be healthy if they had someone else with them.
Rachel Fox of Bassetts Vitamins, which has launched a new line of adult fruit gummies to make daily supplementation more fun, said: “Maintaining your health doesn’t mean exercising all the time or eating only the healthiest foods. , there are many small steps you can take to develop a healthy habit.
“Also, it shouldn’t be a chore and you can enjoy taking those small steps to feel good.
“Our vitamins are formulated to be delicious chewable tablets for daily use. So it’s a small step and it’s easier to form a daily routine to take them (and take them!).
“So it might be something you can cross off the list without needing an apology.”