One of the main reasons you might go to see a Life Coach is to help you make changes to your how you are living.

For instance, you might want to get better control of your weight, stopping snacking when you know you’re not really hungry, or being more disciplined with exercise.  You might find yourself procrastinating, rather than living your soul’s purpose, or maybe you find yourself reacting to people at work in a way that isn’t doing your career any favours.  It could also be that you want to improve your love life, instead of repeating negative patterns like always picking the same kind of wrong person, or sabotaging any relationship you get into.

While there are a large number of ways to approach breaking negative patterns or habits, one useful approach is to set up Keystone Habits.

The idea here is to establish some helpful patterns that are unrelated to any issues you want to change.  These habits support you in feeling calmer and happier in general.  That makes you less likely to react to triggers that could otherwise send you into a negative spiral.  They may also help you reflect more on what you want to be doing, how you want to be living, who you want to be.

So, what are the best Keystone Habits you can adopt?  Here are my top five:

  1. Meditation – even five minutes a day of meditation can help you feel calmer, and let you respond more creatively to any issues that come up.  It also helps with sleep problems.
  2. Journalling – this is a great way to reflect on what’s going on for you.  Like talking with another person, journalling helps you get clarity on what’s happening, and also offers a different perspective on it.  Surprisingly, it also has physical benefits!
  3. Gratitude – having a gratitude practice of some kind is a real mood booster.  Spending some time every day looking for the good in life and giving thanks for it helps you notice the positives more, to balance out any negatives.  It’s also another reflective practice, helping you get clearer about what is working in your life.
  4. Planning your day – taking a few minutes each morning to plan your day helps you be more productive.  It brings focus to what you want or need to achieve.  And with a to-do list to cross off, you can track what you achieve, giving yourself that feel-good factor of knowing you’ve gotten lots done.  Each thing doesn’t have to be big, setting lots of small targets can be good to boost your morale, and lots of little steps will get you to those big goals in time!
  5. Exercise – once again, little and often is key here.  Even five minutes of some kind of movement can boost your metabolism and your mood.  It can also help you think more clearly, sweeping away negative self-talk and that stuck feeling you sometimes get.

It takes a while for a habit to form (anywhere from 21 to 66 days, depending on which studies you believe).  It’s best to choose just one keystone habit to start with, get that established, and then you can think about setting up another one.  And remember, it’s better to do 5 minutes a day than to do 30 minutes one day and then nothing for the rest of the week.

So, what will you make a start on today?

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