From Iguazu to Montevideo
After getting well and truly soaked beneath the Iguazu…
One of the toughest things to do whilst travelling is to keep your good habits and form new habits.
However, I have had some success.
My best example is the habit of drinking water. Travelling with a friend of mine, we had inspiration to create a new habit.
We set a 30 day challenge. We would drink nothing but water for 30 days. If anyone broke the rule, the other person would punch them in the stomach!
The thread of violence was enough to keep a watchful eye over each other.
We did allow two exemptions. My friend was able to drink tea when he wanted, and I was able to have the occasional glass of red wine. We were travelling through Chile and Argentina at the time and what would life be like without a glass of their incredible wine!
It’s now 6 weeks later, and I’ve kept the habit. I mainly drink water, occasionally alcohol and very rarely an orange juice.
A key part of forming a new habit is making it as automatic as possible.
You need to actively remove as many steps as you can to doing the habit.
For example, I wanted to regularly take fish oil supplements and apple cider vinegar supplements. For months, these sat unused in my backpack. Then, suddenly, it became a subconscious habit.
The change? There’s a pocket at the top of my day bag I access every day. Inside is my money, headphones and passport. I used a small case that I had previously used for my headphones, and slipped a handful of the supplements in there and placed it inside the pocket.
Now, each time I go in to the pocket, I see the supplements and think “Oh, better not forget to take those” and I instantly take action.
Having them in the pocket reduced the number of steps I needed to take. Previously, I’d have to access my big bag, find my carrier bag with the supplements (which is a nightmare with a huge 80L bag) and then remove two from each box and take them.
Needless to say, all these steps meant the habit was never being done.
Throughout the trip I’ve used the Lift app to keep track of progress on my various habits.