In our last issue we looked at taking a fresh approach to your perfume and how a little change can mean a lot. In this issue Clare Wildman, member of The Wellness Network looks at making new habits as part of a healther lifestyle and looking at how to approach making those changes and some key tips to focus on.
It’s a great thing to want to set new habits for a healthier lifestyle, it’s probably the number one goal of most people I work with.Before making any decisions though start by considering these questions:
What is the main purpose for you making any changes to your habits? Unless you know what your true motivation is, it’s possible that you will choose a habit that might not actually be helpful
What success have you had with healthy habits before?
Would choosing a similar habit help towards your goal?
Would you rather make ‘massive’ change or ‘lasting’ change?
Obviously, both would be wonderful but sometimes making small incremental and lasting changes over a long period will have the biggest effect on your lifestyle.Breaking down your habits into small changes gives you the chance to make it almost impossible not to follow through instead of facing a huge challenge every day.
What feels possible to you right now?
One of the biggest problems I see, time after time, is people making the decision to make changes that just don’t feel possible to them in the moment.In that way they are almost setting themselves up for failure.Changing the habits of a lifetime can take a huge amount of dedication.Depending on what else is happening in your life right now you may not have that amount of energy and awareness to spare.
My personal favourite approach to Healthy Habits is to have an options list of small habits that I would like to establish. Several years ago I made the commitment to start drinking more water and reduce my caffeine intake. My nutritional therapist helped me greatly with this by suggesting powder form supplements that I added to 1 litre of water, and I made my health cocktail which I would sip throughout the day. This helped with all three of my habit changes in one action.
After this habit had been embedded, I started adding other options that I wanted to make part of my daily routines. I chose an options approach as I work best when I don’t feel constrained by thoughts of ‘I must’, ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’. Now I have a list of 8 healthy actions that I can choose to take on a daily basis. Five of these I take on a regular basis and the others are additions on some days but not on others. This gives me the variety that I prefer.
Whatever healthy habits you want to bring to your life remember that you need to do it your way.