This is the time of year when our focus is everywhere but on ourselves. Some of us tend to let our good habits of the year slip, having an extra helping of stuffing or that extra dessert at a Christmas party and not setting aside some time to exercise.
This can snowball ...into weight gain and feelings of guilt. Despair not—just making one habit change can get you back on track.
In his book The Power of Less, Leo Babatu wrote, “In order to create a sustainable habit you need to address one habit at a time.” His research tells us that you will have an 85% success rate if you only adopt one new habit at a time. For people trying to change two habits at once, the success rate is only 33%. This is compelling evidence that even during this busy holiday season, you can find success if you just focus on one habit.
Some habits that we change carry more weight than others. Charles Duhigg, in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, talks about changing what he calls “keystone habits.” This type of habit change will take you outside your comfort zone and make you feel uneasy. Keystone habit changes can include changes such as giving up smoking, changing your diet, and trying a new exercise routine.
By adopting just one healthy “keystone habit” you can set off a positive chain reaction in the rest of your life, according to Duhigg. “We know from study after study that people who start an exercise habit will start eating more healthfully, which makes sense because you’re feeling better about your body. But people who start exercising habitually also start using their credit cards less. They do their dishes on average earlier in the day. They procrastinate less at work. There’s something about starting an exercise habit that sets off a chain reaction that changes all these other actions in your life.”
Is there a change you could make that would add balance to your life? Whether it’s a small habit change or a ‘keystone habit’ change, I want you to think about one habit that you want to change during this holiday season.
It’s time to put the some of the focus back on YOU.