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The benefits of small changes

Hands up who gets to this time of year and starts to think about making lifestyle changes?

With a new year on the horizon, thoughts can quickly turn to resolutions, new goals and big aspirations. This can be exciting, but also overwhelming and may cause people to feel pressured about the changes they are going to make.

A new year is a good (and let’s be honest, a hugely popular) time for people to make decisions about lifestyle change. However, it is important to recognise that any changes you make don’t have to be big or drastic, as small actions or tweaks to your lifestyle can add up and make a big difference to how you feel and provide a great sense of achievement!

A good way to think of it is like a puzzle; you don’t get to the complete picture immediately; this is the result of identifying and adding in the smaller pieces. Therefore, instead of getting too caught up on your end goal, or that drastic change, you can find smaller actions to do daily which can help get you to where you want to be. Saying that, even if you don’t have a big goal, you can still make some small, positive changes to your current lifestyle which can work to improve your health and wellbeing.

For example, taking time out in nature each day, noticing what is around you, learning a new skill, connecting with a friend or family member you don’t speak to very often, drinking more water or even writing down something you are proud of, or thankful for. 

walk in nature

Small changes can act like stepping stones, and enable you to feel confident and ready to perhaps think about a bigger goal if this is something you want to do. Breaking it down into bitesize, achievable and manageable chunks will keep you on track, whilst helping to improve your overall health and wellbeing. These small changes can be seen as positive lifestyle habits; little things you can do regularly and consistently to boost your mood, feel more energised, increase productivity and improve self-esteem.

LiveWell Dorset are launching their exciting #SmallChange campaign in January, which is packed full of a variety of ideas that everybody can try for a daily wellbeing boost! Each day will encourage a different, achievable and positive action to try out and by the end of the month, you will have 31 new habits to take forwards and carry on!  

My take away message on this subject is that small changes, no matter how little they seem, can be so beneficial. After all, a new year doesn’t have to mean a ‘new you’, but it does offer the chance to be the best version of yourself!  

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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.

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