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Friday, 16 October 2015

Shape your context




Earlier this week I talked about there being two types of habit change. Your environment or making small incremental tiny changes. Environment can be a lot trickier to tackle because there are so many outside factors but it's not impossible.

Supermarkets understand the effects of context which is why they place high-margin brand goods at eye level and unhealthy snacks at the checkout when your decision fatigue and will-power is at its lowest.

By changing your context you can change your behaviour.

Now if you think about your home environment to begin with, you will have so many habits because of certain choices. If you open your fridge to unhealthy food, that's what you will eat. If wake up next to your phone, you'll use it first thing. If your garden is unkept you're less likely to want to use it.

Sleep easy - keep technology out of the bedroom and at least don't sleep with your phone next to you but across the room. If noise is an issue consider ear plugs or a sound machine. Block out all that light using heavy curtains or a sleep mask. You know how you best sleep so make those necessary adjustments.

Eat well - no matter how hard we try it can be difficult to eat well 100% of the time. You can help yourself by stopping junk food or unhealthy snacks from even entering your home. Put a fruit bowl in a central location and hide the cookie jar. Keep water handy by having some chilled in the fridge or a carafe.

Create a quiet zone - stress is ugly and it's effects on the body are worse still. If clutter or an untidy garden stress you out, make it a priority to stay on top of them. If you need a place to be alone - set one up. Hiding the TV in a cabinet or turning off your phone all together can stop distractions.

Move more - by getting out your workout or running gear ready for the morning you're more likely to use them because they're readily accessible and visible.

Your home environment can be a great place to start because you get to choose what you see. And what you see shapes what you do. Your home can help you get healthier by putting your good, growing habits in front of your face.

You can then take these changes beyond your home, to your car, your workplace and beyond. We don't get much say in our public environments but as we've discovered, even the smallest changes can have the biggest impacts.

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