February is the shortest month but did you know that It is also the sweetest?
Every year in the month of February, we get to celebrate World Nutella Day (5th), Pancake Day (13th) and Valentines Day (14th). That information is of course only useful if you are a fan of any/all of the above.
I don’t eat a lot of sugar but I love celebrations. I believe that every moment we are alive is a gift and worth making the most of. Celebrating brings multiple health benefits and many studies show that having this approach to life will improve your physical health, increase your sense of well-being and enable you to have better coping strategies to deal with whatever life throws up.
The great thing about it is that a celebration doesn’t have to be a grand event with swinging bells and whistles. It can be as simple as taking time out to reflect on your journey and giving yourself permission to linger on accomplishments (big or small). This inevitably engenders feelings of gratitude that increases happiness and can extend your life.
If you think you don’t have anything to celebrate, think some more. There is much in life to celebrate: firsts, transitions, anniversaries and even the tiniest goals achieved. You can even celebrate moments when you cross tasks off your to-do list. People who take time to reflect on and celebrate their successes are generally more optimistic, take better care of themselves and tend to be less stressed.
So, in 2018, resolve to celebrate more.
Speaking of 2018 resolutions…
Did you make any? How well are you doing so far?
If you’re doing great, well done! If you’re not, you need to turn your resolutions into habits which is apparently a much more effective strategy. Habits are automatic routines that are naturally brain-friendly. As they are learned behaviours, they don’t rely on motivation or willpower and can thus be picked up fairly easily.
Here are some tips for building habits from an interesting article I came across last month:
1. Start with a small action or thought you desire to do, not should do, to make the entire process more pleasant for you. Make your first step tiny and specific to increase your chances of success. E.g. I will practice the new language that I am learning for five minutes every day before I go to bed.
3. Make the behaviour simple to do. I will spend only five minutes unless I want to carry on.
4. Adjust your environment for success. I will use the app on my phone and set two evening reminders that are close to my bedtime.
5. Celebrate to embed and rewire your brain. Every day I practise, I will mark it off on my wall calendar with a smiley and a tick.
6. Repeat often, preferably daily. The repetition also helps the habit become automatic.
Over time, which can be days or weeks, depending on the habit and your brain, your new habit will be stored in your unconscious and will become automatic.
That’s it for now, get in touch to let me know how its going, check out what’s coming up on the events page of my website and remember to share this with someone else.