2023 is around the corner and your thoughts might be going towards New Years resolutions? Personally I’m not a huge fan of these, they’re normally based on the idea of not being good enough. We set ourselves impossible goals and then we beat ourselves up for failing. Not the recipe for lasting health & wellbeing.
However, the start of something does lend itself to a re-new’ed focus and use that to your advantage (it can be the start of the year, start of the month, week or day!).
So if you’re struggling with with any area of health, consider what your blocks are in this area. Many people mention lack of time and motivation as their biggest obstacle. But being healthy doesn’t need to take any more time, it just requires you to do things differently. Which brings me to the real reason why many struggle and that’s motivation. It’s difficult to be motivated if we feel that it (whatever the goal is) is too big a mountain to climb. So I encourage you to break it down and just do one (or many) tiny things. Tiny change is manageable, and because it’s easy to do you’re much more likely to do it and then you’ll feel great afterwards. Feeling great is a much better way of establishing a new behaviour/routine than repetition. I can highly recommend B.J. Fogg’s book Tiny habits if you’re interested in behaviour change, it’s very practical and inspiring!
Do you have a goal to become fitter, stronger, faster, smarter etc? Walk an extra 5 minutes before work, do 1 press up each time you wait for the kettle to boil, run up the stairs instead of walking, read 1 interesting article before you watch tv, etc, you get the picture! Tiny changes add up and soon you’ll start to identify yourself as someone who can do new things (this is important, too often we don’t believe in ourselves and that blocks our success)
So how to make that new habit stick;
- Chunk it down. Take whatever habit you want and make it tiny. Make the threshold for doing it super low.
- Add a prompt to remind you to do it. Tag it onto an existing habit (do a press up while you wait for the kettle to boil, stand on 1 leg while you brush your teeth etc)
- Don’t swim upstream. Make your environment easy for you to do whatever you want to do. Put on clothes that make it easy for you to do some exercise, leave notes around the house to remind you to breathe, remove temptations etc
- Consistency is KEY, to make something a habit you’ve got to be consistent. Don’t set your goal too high, you’ve got to make it easy to do on your worst day, not your best day