Bite Sized Habits Newsflash - Novelty

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you! "

Oprah Winfrey​


Something To Do

"Can you carve out some worry time?

I love this article on how our brains don’t deal well with uncertainty. In it, they make an excellent suggestion that I’ve used in the past, (and a helpful nudge to reengage with it). They recommend setting aside specific ‘worry time” to stop worry from taking over your day and yet still allow time to acknowledge the thoughts and emotions that surround it. They detail:

“Carving out a specific time and place for worrying can help prevent it from overwhelming the rest of your day. For example, you might choose to spend 20 minutes each evening sitting in a chair you don’t normally use and letting your mind fret about the latest Covid-19 news. “It should be the same time and place each day, and not a location that’s associated with work or sleep or leisure,” she says. You don’t want to encourage your brain to associate your workspace or bed with worrying. Instead, you want to train it to confine its worrying to a convenient time and place.”

Has something been on your mind of late? Could you pull up a chair, set a timer, and give it your full attention. You will be surprised by the results!"

Something to listen to

I loved this conversation with Danielle from @thedaisypatchcoaching

She got me talking about all my favourite childhood things – and as it turns out, my love for the outdoors, human behaviour and health sciences really did all contribute to my journey now! We get talking about: why intrinsic motivation is best; why goals are only a snapshot and what to set instead; how to create super small and achievable steps to success; and following your inner joy.

You can tune into the episode on your favourite podcast app or listen here now. 😊

Bite Sized Habit of the week

One of the biggest things that tend to throw us off our long-term commitment to our healthy habits is boredom. At the start, everything is new and exciting, 6-8 weeks into pounding the pavement and the same routine doesn't give us the same thrill (and also from a physiological pov is not as effective either). Yet this is a rut so many of us find ourselves falling into. If this sounds like you, it's worth considering how you can add some novelty or variety to your routine after 6-8 weeks so you can stay engaged with your habit.

Research specifically focusing on exercise routines found that a lack of novelty tends to lead to low participation in the activity.

The key question to ask yourself this week is; how can I make my current exercise routine more fun? And if you're enjoying it right now, perhaps how can I ensure to add novelty in the future if needed?

Ways in which you can do this are, to rotate exercises every couple of weeks, to change your running route monthly, or have different routes for different days, get a weekly walking/run/swim buddy to join you (you can even have a different person each week). Even changing your playlist/listening to podcasts and getting a new piece of workout clothing can boost engagement.

One of my favourite ways to add novelty is through something known as temptation bundling.

One big piece around this is don't wait until your routine gets boring to do this. Ride the motivation wave now and take 10-15 minutes to brainstorm how you are going to switch things up in the next 6 weeks before you get to that point.

Published on 14th Oct 2021 at 12:00 by Heather McKee

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Copyright ©2024 Dr. Heather McKee

Dr. Heather McKee is registered in Ireland Reg. No. 687397 with the registered address at 314 Mother Teresa House, Loreto Abby, Rathfarnham, D14 NR20, Co. Dublin, Ireland

This work is in no way meant to replace any medical advice. Dr. McKee is Non-HCPC-registered. Photography by Dylan Madden.

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