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The Power of Habit: Creating Positive Change in Your Daily Life

16/05/2024

The Power of Habit: Creating Positive Change in Your Daily Life

On the journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle, you may often find yourself being challenged with motivation, consistency, and the daunting task of maintaining wellness routines. However, amidst this struggle lies a powerful ally: THE POWER OF HABIT.

Habits are deeply ingrained behavior formed through repetition and are the cornerstone of a sustainable wellness routine.

In fact, research argues that when good habits are designed around your long-term goals, then not only is behavior management more controllable, but so too is it more effortless to depend on your good habits to keep you moving forward.

Therefore, by harnessing the power of habit, you will transform your wellness goals from distant aspirations into tangible realities. Let’s delve into the art of building a wellness routine by first understanding the habit loop.

Understanding the Power of Habit in a Loop

Charles Duhigg , the author of “The Power of Habit,” found that habit formation is a neurological pattern, which he calls the “Habit Loop” which comprises three fundamental components: Cue, Routine, and Reward.

The cue serves as the trigger for the habit, initiating the routine, which represents the behavior itself. Subsequently, the reward reinforces the habit loop which contributes to its perpetuation, therefore, providing valuable insights into the process of habit formation and its potential for reshaping.

Start Small Positive Change

Dream big. Start small. But most of all, start” –  Simon Sinek (Author & public speaker).

Studies in behavioral psychology emphasize the effectiveness of starting small. For instance, researchers tested a method focusing on habit formation and small changes to help people lose weight.

Participants were split into two groups: One received a habit-based program, and the other served as a control. After 8 weeks, the program group lost 2 kg on average, compared to 0.4 kg in the control group.

By 32 weeks, those in the program group who completed the study had lost an average of 3.8 kg. This highlights the effectiveness of habit formation, incremental steps, and small changes when initiating behavior change.

So rather than undertaking a complete lifestyle overhaul, sustainable change often begins with manageable adjustments. Start by identifying one aspect of wellness that needs improvement, such as being more active or prioritizing your mental well-being to clarify your goal.

Set Clear Goals for Positive Changes

Pioneers of goal-setting theory, Locke and Latham believe that establishing specific, measurable goals plays a crucial role in guiding people on their wellness journey.

Whether it involves committing to that exercise routine or dedicating time every day to your mindfulness practice, clarity on the specifics of your goal will foster accountability as you track your progress.

Establish Consistent Cues

Surround yourself with tiny “triggers” or cues to remind you of your goal and embed a habit formation protocol into your life.

The author of the best-selling book, “Atomic Habits” says that you should integrate various cues into your daily routines, such as setting reminders for workouts or scheduling regular meal preparation sessions as they reinforce habitual behaviours.

Therefore, consistent exposure to these triggers will strengthen the habit loop, making it more automatic over time.

Find Joy in the Routine

A few years ago I started an intensive study program. With such intensity, I quickly became overwhelmed so I needed a “study hack” to help me move forward.

I realized that if I convinced myself that everything I read and wrote about was incredibly interesting I would be more motivated to stick to my study routine. In fact, various studies highlight the role of intrinsic motivation in sustaining behaviours over the long term.

Just consider the activities that you currently undertake which evoke joy and fulfilment. Maybe you feel pumped when you listen to music or maybe you enjoy the timeless escape of walking through your local park.

These are “natural hacks” that you can take advantage of to incorporate into your wellness routine, aimed at maximizing enjoyment. Therefore, incorporating pleasurable elements into your habits will foster lasting engagement and help you celebrate your progress.

Celebrate Progress

Acknowledging and celebrating milestones along your wellness journey is a critical component that reinforces positive behavior so don’t forget to pat yourself on the back every now and then.

Not convinced? Well, a recent study helped workers acknowledge their daily successes with a customized tool called the Highlight Matome. In a six-week study with 33 office workers in Japan and the U.S., using the tool for less than a minute each day significantly improved work engagement, dedication, and positivity. This suggests that taking a moment to recognize your achievements goes a long way!

So whether it involves achieving your fitness targets, mastering new culinary skills, or experiencing enhancements in your mental well-being, recognizing progress will cultivate motivation, and a sense of accomplishment, and encourage you to continue putting effort into your pursuits.

Conclusion

Harnessing the power of habit is paramount in constructing a wellness routine that endures.

By understanding the habit loop, starting with small steps, setting clear goals, establishing consistent cues, finding joy in routines, and celebrating progress, you will cultivate habits that are in alignment with your long-term health and well-being.

So, embark on your wellness journey with intention, commitment, and optimism, knowing that sustainable change is within reach through the power of habit.

 

Written by
Donovan – Life Coach at MeetCoach