Wednesday, 13 July 2016

How to Use One Month to Make Small Changes That Last.

If you’ve just experienced that horrific realisation that you go on holiday in a month and are having those ‘where is the svelte figure I promised myself’ thoughts then panic not.

There’s still time to turn your bad habits around and install a better mind-set so that you can enjoy your holiday and return with a clear focus for the remainder of the year.

Here’s how:

Days 1 – 6

Turn to your trusty journal and note everything down. Write down all the times you reach for the biscuit tin, or smuggle a Mars bar under your t-shirt so the kids don’t spot it. While you’re at it, jot down how you were feeling at the time (angry, upset, etc.) and the time of day. By doing this, it helps to give you an insight into your activities and the behaviour associated with each act/habit.

Days 7 – 12

Without an action plan then our changes will fall apart. Nothing in your life will change unless you put in the work – every day. Doing a daily act towards your chosen goal is the only way to succeed in setting up new, healthy habits.

Days 13 – 18

Don’t, under any circumstances, think that you can change a lifetime of bad habits overnight – this is like going ‘cold turkey’ and would be detrimental to your wellbeing. Instead, try replacing a bad habit with a good one. For example, do you reach for the wine at 6 o’clock on a Friday out of habit? Try replacing the wine with a meditation class, or a walk around the block. An alternative plan to doing things differently – serve your meals on a smaller plate, use a smaller wine glass, etc. This process is an easy way to change existing habits.

Days 19 – 24

Grab yourself a ‘buddy’. Whether it’s someone to weigh in with, go for a walk with, or someone who will keep you accountable to your action plan – having a friend or family member as your support team can work wonders.

Days 25 – 30

One month is a relatively short time to make a change, but even if you use this 30-day plan as a starting point, it will help you to make better choices.

Habits are tricky suckers as some of our bad ones may have been installed at a very young age. Don’t try to change too much, too soon and don’t give up. If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth spending the appropriate time to get it right.

Believe that you can make those changes and start to action it today.


  1. That's August taken care of, then.

  2. Heh, I joined the Betty Rocker 30-day challenge last month. Although the workouts were mostly WELL beyond my capabilities, I used the daily email reminders to inspire me to do the exercise videos I already owned and to buy a yoga and a ballet video. So I did develop an exercise habit; I just didn't do Betty's stuff. :-)

  3. Good advice. Definitely choosing achievable goals and using specific strategies are important. And not trying to accomplish too much too soon. Major changes come in small steps.

  4. Great suggestions! I may just give this a shot in April - thanks, Shelley!