Piggyback to Healthy Habits

Oct 22, 2021

Turn your "setback" into a "comeback" using my Piggyback Method! 

If you are around me for very long you will likely hear one of the many “catchy” nicknames I give to the tricks and techniques I create. It makes remembering them so much easier and it helps me, personally, so I share them with my clients to support our desire to move in a healthy direction. I teach a number of them and give them easy-to-remember names like: Triple AAA, Mini-Mental Vacation, Marvelous Marriage Marathon Weekend, This-Then-That Trap, Shake it off, Talk-Back, 7-point Inspection, The To-BE List, On-ramp/Off-ramp, and Walk-n-Talk, just to name a few. If you are curious about these tricks, schedule a session with me, and I will explain them. For now, the one I am going to share with you is my (world) famous Piggyback Method for establishing hard-to-establish habits. It’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it, and you will love the results!

I find dictionary definitions helpful as I explain most things, and it’s always a great place to expand my thoughts on a topic.  This time it took my little idea and opened my creativity up in wonderful ways! I hope it does for you, too! 

Setback – a reversal or check in progress. An obstacle or hindrance holding you up or setting you back. We have all experienced these, followed by disappointment and guilt, and they often lead to giving up altogether.
Comeback – return to something, reinstatement, rebirth, rejoin, restart, renewal, rejuvenation! I love those action words! And we all love a good comeback story, don’t we? This type of “comeback” means you likely had a “setback” somewhere along the way but were rejuvenated, renewed, and restarted your pursuit resulting in a positive outcome. LET’S DO THAT!  

Here is a way to turn your setback into a comeback by using my Piggyback Method of building healthy habits. Here are the 4 definitions for Piggyback and some pro tips to give them action steps.

Piggyback: 1) A ride on someone’s back. 

I have established a strong habit of morning workout routine. I get up every weekday morning at 6:30am, and I am on the Treadmill or Elliptical at 6:45 am. I finish my workout by 7:30 am. It is a routine I value and honor, so I have helped a number of people to establish the habit just by letting them “piggyback” on my schedule, and my routine, though not necessarily the same length of time when beginning. We design something that establishes the habit for them. Maybe it's 5-10 minutes for the first week, 20-30 minutes the second and on until the full session when the habit is well established, but it takes time.  

Pro Tip: Who do you know?  Who do you know that would let you “piggyback” their routine? Ride on their back for a while.  They change nothing: You in your space and them in their space. Indoors, outdoors, gyms, or equipment in the garage! It doesn’t matter. You connect by text, by phone, or in person. Don’t overcomplicate it or you will not keep up with it! My clients text me when we are close to the appointed time. “I’m ready to go! The call is made; we talk with earbuds, and off we go! (You can just text at the beginning and at the end if that is easier.)

Piggyback: 2) Attached to or riding on a larger object. 

Establishing a new habit can be as easy as attaching the desired new habit to something else that needs to be done anyway! Is there something else that you need to get done? Can you attach two things together around or at the same time?

Pro Tip: What can you attach a new habit to? If you want/need to read a book, then establish a book reading schedule of 30 minutes every morning. Buy the audio book, and let it read to you while you walk on the treadmill. If you need to clean the garage, then put your playlist together of upbeat feel-good songs, earbuds in place, and get two jobs done – your garage cleaned and your workout complete.  

Piggyback: 3) Mount or attach to and existing object or system. 

This is my most successful trick! You have some existing system somewhere in your life, work, routine. Piggyback on that successful system. These two things can become partners and the timeframe binds the two amazing habits together.

Pro Tip: What is something you already do or have an existing habit that you are faithful to which you could attach a new habit to? If you are faithful to your daily workout routines but struggle with meditative practices to slow your mind and provide mental space to selfcare, piggyback your workout to quiet time by attaching it to the end of your workout. After fitness, you likely do a cool down, or stretches like I do, so incorporate your mindfulness into the end of the routine, and maybe plan an extra 5-10 minutes. 

Piggyback: 4) Use existing work or an existing product as a basis or support.  

Who do you know that you would like to get together with but never seem to find time in your schedule? I have at least 10-15 minutes every morning at my sink and vanity to get ready for my day, so I often Piggyback listening to a positive, contemplative recording during that time. 

Pro Tip: Where is the existing “work” that you already do on a regular basis that you can pair with the new habit? Piggyback a Walk-N-Talk with a person for a real win-win. They do not need to be walking too, but you can walk and talk at the same time, can’t you? 

I would love to know the ideas you come up to put the Piggyback method to work for you! (Hint: try it with your kids, too!) Get creative and make it fun!

Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!

– Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC

Health Advisor | Email Stephanie

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