Creating Effective Behaviour Change
The 5 power strategies to live a healthy & happy life...
Most of us know what's required to live a healthy and happy life...
For example, we are aware that we should eat less sugar, eat more fruit & vegetables, and exercise regularly. The reality is it's not rocket science. But why, then, do so few people do the essential things well?
The answer is because so few people have an effective system in place. History tells us that millions of health experts have failed to solve our collective health needs. This is evident in the fact that so many individuals have been unable to create healthier lifestyle habits. If the 'expert model' is not working then it is time to take charge and coach yourself to wellness. Try these simple, but powerful strategies to create positive change:
1. Set SMART- ER goals
Some of us cringe at the word 'goals.' This is often due to the realisation that achieving a goal requires ongoing dedication, persistence, willpower and self responsibility. The fact is you have to be truly ready to change to embrace a life changing goal.
When you are ready to create positive change then set your goal to be SMART- ER.
SMART stands for Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant and Time Specific. In addition, it's important to "challenge" yourself and also Evaluate and Revise your goals, if necessary.
2. Have "happy hour" every day
This "happy hour" refers to the non-alcoholic variety. It's all about doing something fun, pleasurable, enjoyable, satisfying and/ or something that makes you feel alive everyday. If you enjoy exercise, then this can form "happy hour." And preferably, make it a routine to incorporate "happy hour" into your every day. In the words of Molly Meldrum, "do yourself a favour!"
Remember it's OK to share your "happy hour" with a partner, friend or family member so that you both benefit from the experience. Share the love of "happy hour!"
3. Focus on the good
Let's face it, life can be tough! It is essential to remind yourself of the benefits of taking effective action and of engaging in activities that will enhance your health & wellness (especially if your goals may not be realised in the short term). Focus on the good and live the intentional life.
4. Reward yourself for being SMART
For all those that have taken on the Mind Body & Soul 50-Day Challenge you should be proud for making the commitment. Reward yourself for making positive changes, for striving to engage in healthy and productive activities, or simply just for trying. Doing so will significantly increase your chances of continuing helpful habits and creating everlasting change. A reward can be as simple as giving yourself positive encouragement, treating yourself to an experience like a holiday, or buying a new pair of jeans that you now fit into.
5. Make it fun with others
Find a "buddy" with whom to exercise, challenge negative thoughts, engage in good deeds etc. Most activities are more enjoyable with a like-minded, supportive friend. The fact is if you find something more enjoyable with a "buddy" you are likely to keep it up!
Dr Timothy Sharp (Chief Happiness Officer, The Happiness Institute, www.thehappinessinstitute.com)
Brett Smith, Wellness Coach (Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio).
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