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Getting to the root of unhealthy habits

Three questions to move towards a healthier you

Sometimes we repeat unhelpful habits again and again without taking the time to stop and think why. Getting to the root of the issue can be a big help in working out how to move towards our goals.

Here are some common examples:

Drinking less

You're fed up with hangovers but don't know where to start with changing your drinking habits. Asking yourself 'why do I drink?' is a good first step. If it helps you relax in social situations, would choosing a different social activity help? Where do you feel most confident and how can you take advantage of that? Challenge yourself to see how many alcohol-free activities you can think of. If you drink to wind down, looking for other ways to relax or minimise stress in the first place is a good starting point.

Moving more

Lack of motivation is a common reason for being inactive. Identifying your reason for low motivation can help. If exercise isn't at the forefront of your mind, simple actions like placing your workout clothes in an obvious place could make all the difference. Perhaps you're not confident and need to plan some small steps to increase this such as following online videos or finding a buddy to do it with. Think about what it is you enjoy and work on finding ‘your thing’. Our team here at LiveWell enjoy everything from cycling to yoga to netball to paddle boarding!

Stopping smoking

Many people smoke as a way of coping with stress, but studies show that smoking has a negative impact on your mood. Some questions to ask yourself are: What's causing the stress? How can I reduce this? How can I deal with stress without turning to cigarettes? Read about smoking and stress to help get you started.

Eating healthily

Snacking in the evenings is a common habit, but why is this? For some, it's due to boredom, so coming up with different ways to spend the time can reduce the urge to snack. What do you enjoy doing? Could you spend time doing something creative or active? If you snack to deal with emotions, challenging yourself to think of as many new ways as possible to boost your mood could be a good starting point. Look at the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ for some inspiration.

Over to you

Once you’ve got a goal in mind – whether it's drinking less or moving more - try answering these three questions to help you get started:

  • What's getting in the way? Dig deep and be honest with yourself.
  • What can I do about it? List all your ideas; you can pick favourites later!
  • What's next? Make a realistic action plan to move forward.

This article was written by our LiveWell Coach, Addy.

Need some help?

We're here for you. Register or get in touch with us to find out how we can support you to LiveWell.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

Your Favourites?

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