Research shows that our habits create our reality. The easiest and most effective way to make positive change is to make small daily changes. Over time, these little changes accumulate, and result in considerable change over time.
We’ve identified seven positive habits – all based on renowned psychological principals and research – to help the whole family become more positive, happier and more confident.
Take it slowly. Start by taking small steps. Commit to just one of these changes at a time. Don’t push yourself by taking on too many changes. Don’t apply too greater pressure on yourself to succeed, just take it slowly, and steadily, introducing these positive habits one at a time until they become a natural part of your routine. Then you can move on and implement another one, and so on.
1. Start the day on a positive
It’s really important to start the day on a positive note as this sets you up for the day ahead. Define a morning routine that can slot in ahead of daily tasks and chores for 5-10 minutes. You can create your own, but here are some suggestions:
Take time for some positive affirmations first thing in the morning as the brain is able to better process these at this time. Then, try listening to some feel-good music and set out your intentions for a great day. Think about three things that would make your day a better one (see examples below). And then do a few fun exercises like jumping jacks with the kids to get the positive energy flowing.
2. Do more of what makes you happy
It may seem obvious, but if we start the day with a few ideas on how to make the day better, we’re much more likely to achieve this. When we don’t, these things quickly slip to the end of our priority list. So, help yourself and also your kids to define what this means for them! It could be spending time with friends you like – whether it’s face to face, or on the phone, walking in nature, listening to music, reading, or even promising yourself to finally do that thing that you have been putting off. Whatever you choose, however big or small, make the choices that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and make you feel warm inside.
3. End the day on a positive
There’s now so much research proving that by simply writing down three things you are grateful for each evening (or just three positive things about your day), you’ll have greater optimism, be more satisfied with your life, be happier, and it will help you sleep better. No matter how big or small, it all counts – it can be as simple as the weather or the food you ate! Help your kids get into this habit early in life too. A well-structured, colourful journal offers a great incentive for children to want to do it at the end of each day. Daily journaling also opens up a conversation between you, providing a great time for the whole family to share their challenges, their feelings, and their three good things of the day.
4. Practice self-talk
Turn your negative self-talk into positive. It’s totally normal for negative thoughts to creep up. You have to learn to counter them. Turn things like “I am so bad at this” into “I am still finding this difficult, I need more practice.” This takes work, and time. But if this is the one change you choose, you’ll quickly see the enormous difference it will make to your happiness.
5. Avoid negativity
It’s difficult to stay positive if you are surrounded by negative people, toxic work environments, or even the news. Social media is a world of comparison, and for many can stir up really negative feelings. Try and get away from the things that could make you feel bad, and if you can’t, then work on letting go of the bad feelings so they don’t linger.
6. Avoid absolutes
Words such as “never”, “everyone” and “always” create a sense of powerlessness as they imply things are unlikely to change. And they often come with ‘making mountains out of mole hills’ and catastrophising. Give yourself room to improve by replacing the “I will never get better at this.” with “I will get better at this someday” or replace “I am always last/late/taken advantage of, etc.” with “I am often late/last/taken advantage of, etc. and I want to change this”.
7. Focus on things that matter
Don’t worry about the little things but opt for a ‘big picture’ approach. A good way to check whether something really matters or not, is to put things in perspective by asking yourself: “Will this matter in 1 year?”. If not, try to let it go by focusing on something more positive.
Each of these changes will make an immeasurable difference to your happiness and confidence. And by making them into daily positive habits you will begin to see the benefits of small changes that can have a huge impact. So, look after yourself, and those around you, just one small daily habit can make all the difference.
How we can help
All of our products have been developed on the back of decades of research, and created by a team of parenting experts, psychotherapists, parents and children. And they’re all designed to bring families together, strengthening bonds, and helping increase children’s happiness and confidence levels.
Our Journals offer an easy way to start creating positive daily habits, and when used for only 5 minutes each evening, the difference that can be seen even after only a few days is immeasurable. Find out more information about our Journals, Activities, Games and Online Courses here.