Small Changes, Big Impact: How to introduce habits that will change your life

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Welcome to 2023. The new year is a significant time for setting goals and intentions that can lead us to lasting positive change.

Take a few moments to reflect on your habits, focusing on those that have worked well for you. Understanding the architecture of the habits that have served you well will help you to construct a similar architecture for the new habits that will lead you to a bigger and brighter 2023.  Here are some simple tips from BJ Fogg, Director of Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford University:

  1. Change your environment – build your habits into existing routines that already work for you. Start habit stacking and build your new habit directly before or after a habit that happens consistently in your day.  For me, before I have lunch, I will have one litre of water; before I have dinner, I will have 500ml to one litre of water.  These are ingrained habits.  For others, it may be – before my morning coffee, I will meditate for ten minutes. Start habit-stacking with reliable daily habits you already have in your life.
  2. Baby steps – so often we start with lofty and ambitious goals, and we end up failing in a way that is just as grand. Instead, start supporting your habits and being kind to yourself through small baby steps of change.  We are used to big, fast, immediate action and results but we can experience greater success when we focus on small, baby steps that are curated to create lasting change.  Adding one push-up into your routine every day is better than 50 push-ups for two days, never to be repeated.  Small and steady is a mindful approach to creating a sustainable new habit.

Another tip is to look at each dimension of your life and apply a baby step change for each one. This kind of balanced approach brings positive growth to all areas of your life, with those small changes adding up to create an enormous impact on your life experience. The dimensions to consider are financial, occupational, physical, social, spiritual, environmental, emotional and knowledge. What small step can you take in each area to start moving in the right direction?

Wellness coach Lyndall Mitchell, the founder of Aurora Spa, says the new year is the perfect opportunity to deliberately dedicate some time to reflect and create a focus for the year ahead.

“Look back at the last 12 months and consider what worked well for you, what habits you want to continue and what habits haven’t served you well,” she suggests.

“Some of us may be intuitive enough for this to happen naturally, but for most of us, we can really benefit from slowing down, getting out of autopilot and taking time to reflect on the best and not-so-great parts of the previous year,” Mitchell says.

Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself! Sometimes we may pause in our step, or even take a little step backward, but if you recognise this you can get back on track and keep moving forward.

Happy stepping and stacking!

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