Brits find two excuses a day to avoid doing something good for them – and instead spend time tidying up or playing a video game
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The most common excuses Brits have for indulging in bad habits include ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I’m tired’ and ‘it’s too cold’.
A poll of 2,000 adults found that two excuses are given every day to justify skipping healthy habits – with half admitting they spend more time coming up with excuses than they should to accomplish the task they are trying to avoid.
Some of the wacky excuses included “having to spend time with their hamster”, “their dog ate their shoes” and “they were washing their hair”.
“Being busy with the kids” and “their favorite TV show is on” were also among the top excuses for not adopting a healthier lifestyle.
And it emerged that more than half of adults admitted they would find other things they “needed” to do rather than the healthy task at hand, like hitting the gym.
Avoidance tactics included tidying up, completing “that level” on a video game, and blaming a busy day at work.
But more than a third (39%) felt disappointed, anxious or sad after giving an excuse to avoid doing something healthy.
Research was conducted by Bassetts Vitamins to better understand the formation of healthy habits – which led to the development of a motivational tool to help encourage people to take on these tasks.
Neuroscientist Katherine Templar-Lewis says: “Healthy habits are harder to form than bad ones because they can feel more complex and take longer to feel the reward.
“Bad habits become unconscious “shortcuts” that we take. We use our brain’s capacity for “confirmation bias” to come up with excuses to justify why we’re not taking the healthy habits – we feel better with the wrong excuses and fit the facts to our own agenda.
“Negativity bias convinces us that our good habits are harder than they really are.
“However, once a habit is formed, it’s like a muscle – the more you practice it, the easier it gets.
“Small steps can be taken to help healthy habits not feel like a chore and just become part of our usual routine.”
The study found that young adults aged 18-24 were the most likely to feel less motivated to adopt a healthy lifestyle because of the pandemic, with 68% of this age group feeling this way, compared to 40% of all adults in general who struggle.
As a result, young adults come up with three excuses a day to avoid something healthy.
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And 22% of this age group listed wine as one of their ‘five a day’, compared to one in 10 adults who also cited a fruity cocktail like a daquiri or mojito as part of their intake. recommended.
It also emerged that one in ten adults started taking vitamins in January – but failed to stick with it.
And one in five start and stop taking vitamins regularly, the main reasons being that they forget them or find them boring.
But while it can be difficult to adopt a healthy new habit on your own, more than half (57%) said they were more likely to be healthy if someone else was with them.
Rachel Fox, of Bassetts Vitamins, which launched its new line of fruity gummies for adults to make taking a daily supplement more fun, said: “Supporting your health doesn’t mean having to go to extremes or massively overhaul your life.
“There are lots of small steps you can take to get into a healthy habit without it becoming a chore.
“Our vitamins are designed in a delicious one-day chewable format, so it’s a small step in your daily routine and therefore a little thing you can check off the list without needing an apology.”
KATHERINE TEMPLAR-LEWIS’ TOP TIPS FOR CREATING ACHIEVABLE GOALS:
- Start small – A simple small achievable step, like taking a daily vitamin, which you can do every day, will strengthen your willpower and form the basis of a new long-term habit. Once you start one, the others will be easier and start to fall into place.
- Instant Reward – Make sure these small, achievable steps are positive actions. Positive action will result in a dose of “dopamine,” a feel-good chemical reward, knowing that we have instantly done something good for ourselves.
- Positive Motivation – It is important to focus on the positive benefits of the habit we are forming. This will help counteract our negativity bias which can focus on the negative and help us find and justify excuses.
- Start of the day – Our willpower is always much stronger at the start of the day, when we are less tired – this will have a positive effect on the whole day.
- Understanding – We ALL struggle with forming good habits, especially in light of the past few years. Acknowledging this helps provide a sense of community. Stop beating yourself up and start with small habits.