Tiny habits for long term change….

So, our call this week had a very practical slant, and my lovely friend Sam Eddleston shared her knowledge around the impact of tiny habits on healthy behaviour change.

Sam shared how she has created a career for herself that incorporates her skills and values and gives her a real sense of purpose. She is such a kind and generous soul and is beautifully suited to her role working with people in Occupational Psychology.

She had an interesting start to her career, working in aeronautics and she reminisced fondly of this time. These days however, she has created a lifestyle that fits around her family and she works with high performing teams in the corporate world. She is also in the process of setting up her own coaching business. She is brilliant at building relationships and gets a lot of pleasure out of helping people to succeed, so she is destined to be a real success as she embarks on this new chapter. Please do get in touch with her for further information at Clear Focus Coaching and Development.

She also has a real personal interest in health and wellbeing and ensures that she makes time for exercise in her busy lifestyle. She doesn’t think too deeply about it. She just knows that it makes her feel good.

Her career in psychology combined with a keen interest in health made her really fascinated by the science of behaviour change and how it can impact on our ability to make healthy choices.

She explained the concept behind BJ Fogg’s model of behaviour change, as outlined in his book ‘Tiny Habits’. He believes that emotions are key to creating long lasting habit change. We need to really set ourselves up to succeed by starting very small, making it easy to achieve, and to celebrate our successes. He also recommends attaching our new behaviour to an existing habit (such as doing 3 push ups every time you clean your teeth, or 3 squats whilst boiling the kettle for that first morning cuppa) It will obviously be very personal to you to whatever you want to achieve. I think BJ Fogg himself did press ups each time he went to the loo, and we had quite a laugh as we discussed how much we might achieve by attaching small habits to each trip to the loo! I am a bit guilty of dashing from one thing to the other so I am going to try to take 3 regular grounding deep breaths between tasks. This is inspired by my wonderful yoga teacher who asks us to take ‘three massive deep breaths’ between sequences. Breathing practice gives us huge health benefits as it sends a very clear message to the vagus nerve that we are relaxed, and helps to stimulate the relaxation response. This small breathing practice is a therefore a great example of how small and simple habits can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. If you would like to learn more about this simple technique, please do listen to BJ Fogg’s podcast.

The key to any behaviour change is to start small and build from there. I have been working in and promoting health and wellbeing for a long time and now can see very clearly that this is key! Giving people too much information is just overwhelming and unhelpful. Health Coaching is very much about helping people to make small changes that are meaningful to them which will set them up for success, and long-lasting habit change.

I have been training to become a health coach and will be accepting practice clients in a few weeks, so please do get in touch if you would like to chat about how I can help you!

In the meantime, why not consider what tiny new habit you might like to try! But don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way. If your habits are simple and easy to achieve you will succeed and that will make you feel great! Emotions are key to success!!









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