Making Positive Changes Stick
Changing our habits is difficult - we are so hardwired into our daily routines, eating patterns and even the way we fill our spare time. So when it comes to trying to break these behaviours, we often experience failure.
The reason for this isn’t because we don’t want to or aren’t able to, it’s just that often we try to change too much at once. Smaller changes in behaviour are actually shown to stick much more than attempting drastic, dramatic changes. Here's our guide on how to succeed.
In order to improve the success of our changes we must first identify our motivation - why do we want to do it? When trying to create new, healthier habits for yourself, it helps to write the benefits down somewhere visible to help remind you of your why.
For example replacing sugary snacks with vegetables or fruit can help you feel fuller for longer, provide one of your 5-a-day and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Exercising will immediately boost your mood, help speed up weight loss, improve fitness and ability to perform everyday tasks.
Consider how capable you are and how you’ll achieve this change. Deciding that you’re going to increase your exercise and will run everyday might become terribly daunting if you've never ran before.
Try setting an easier, more achievable goal for yourself instead. This could be the couch to 5K challenge or even just stepping out for a brisk walk 3 times a week. You can then succeed in this small change, closing the gap between the next.
If you work night shifts, what time will a run fit into your daily schedule? If you don’t have much time, just make it a 15 minute walk or jog that will be easy to achieve in the time you have available.
SUCCEED WITH SMALL CHANGES
So if you’ve ever felt disheartened by a failed attempt to kick start a new habit, remember that small changes are easier, more sustainable and more likely to stick.
We’ve included some small changes we’ve been making at Jane Plan HQ over the last few weeks to help inspire you;
- Getting up half an hour earlier than usual for a quick walk before work with a coffee or tea in hand
- Watching one less hour of TV and replacing it with reading an article or book
- Limiting snacks and sweet treats to one a day
- Try a new healthy recipe every week; it could be hummus, overnight oats or a veggie tray bake
- Joining Jane Plan yoga for just an hour a week