3 Ways to Spark Positive Changes in Your Daily Routine
We’ve all been there. You’re stuck in a rut and each day feels like the one before it. There are positive changes you know you want to (or should) be making, but even thinking about them can be overwhelming. Being healthy is a lifestyle choice and one of the best ways to improve or maintain your health is to find small, simple ways to make positive changes that promote wellness for your mind, body and spirit. Here are some quick go-to tips that I’ve learned in my work as an occupational therapist that will help you spark some positive changes in your daily routine.
1. Start small.
Begin with small activity changes. Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than usual. Try a new food for lunch. Drive a different route to work. Swap out 30 minutes of TV for that new book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for months. While they may seem like insignificant actions on their own, changing up your ‘usuals’ will help spur positive changes elsewhere. Small changes can help ease you into it, if you are like most of us and sometimes struggle to break out of old routines.
2. Don’t try to do it all at once.
This goes hand-in-hand with #1. It can be easy to get into an all-or-nothing mentality. For example, waking up two hours early to make it to the gym, swapping your steak for a vegan diet, and deciding to teach yourself knitting in time to knit your entire family sweaters for Christmas, is too much to try to take on at once. Even though you may meet all of these goals for a day (or two), chances are, you will not be able to sustain all of these new changes and will feel even more discouraged than before you started. So rather, pick one or two positive changes at a time that you can see yourself maintaining long-term.
3. Be accountable.
Tell someone about the change you’re trying to make. Recruit your partner or a friend or coworker to join with you. Having someone who can ask you how your change is going and encourage you along the way will help keep you motivated and focused. Make a to-do list at the beginning of each day and include your small activity change(s). Having a visual reminder will help you be accountable to yourself and there is something incredibly satisfying about checking off the box once it’s done!
Last but not least
Lastly, stick with it and build upon your success! There is truth in the saying “old habits die hard”, and creating positive changes in your daily routine is an ongoing process…not a quick fix. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day making your new change – rekindle the spark and start fresh the next day!