By Anna Stahl, MS, CHES; Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach / Founder of AnnaCate Whole Health LLC; Host of Your Wellcast

As multidimensional as we are as humans, we also naturally become creatures of habit. Our daily actions and behaviors shape our lives and ultimately determine the outcomes we achieve. Whether it’s adopting a healthier lifestyle, enhancing productivity, or pursuing specific goals, understanding how to effectively change our behavior and form positive habits is key to the well-being of any individual’s life. 

Behavior change refers to the process of intentionally modifying your actions, habits, and patterns of behavior to achieve desired outcomes. The word to hone in on here is INTENTIONAL. Behavior change involves understanding the underlying factors that drive your behavior and then choosing to develop strategies to alter those factors and thus, behavior, effectively. Whether you want to adopt specific wellness habits, overcome procrastination, or improve your relationships, behavior change is essential for developing, modifying, and reaching your full potential in any area. 

Understand that your behavior is influenced by a multitude of factors: your environment, social interactions, emotions, beliefs, and past experiences. By reminding yourself of this, it offers some grace as you navigate any process of change. Additionally, the brain is wired to seek comfort and resist change, making it difficult to break free from ingrained habits (even those habits that are so obviously not serving you!). It’s complex and can be challenging to change, but there are effective strategies and techniques that you can start to engage in; ways that make behavior change and your chances with the process more successful. 

Big picture, on a high-level, such strategies include: setting clear and specific goals, breaking them down into manageable steps, creating a supportive environment, practicing self-awareness, utilizing positive reinforcement, and seeking encouraging connection. 

These strategies realized, getting to the root of your fundamentals takes the work. Nourishing your complete self involves nurturing the mind, body, and soul in a holistic and balanced manner. Grounding in whole health practices and finding consistency in the micro-level of implementation is a system that allows you to change lifestyle patterns so they may best suit who you are and where you are choosing to go. As you design a routine and a life that serves you, you are inherently choosing to use your specific gifts and talents to best serve the world around you.

So, bridging your ‘why’ to accountability is what will create consistency. It will generate those fundamentals that provide you, your edge. 

Your why = What matters most to you? What do you need in this season? 

Accountability = the follow-through of habits and behaviors that match your ‘why’

In order to create a foundation around your fundamentals, your value-based habits, you must become aware and regularly ask yourself, “is my behavior matching what it is I say I want?” When you consciously build habits based on your values, you are more likely to find fulfillment and purpose, all while bringing goals to completion. Value-based habits are rooted in a deep understanding of what truly matters to you. They reflect your unique aspirations, principles, and the type of person you strive to be. Unlike other habits that may be driven by external factors or societal expectations, value-based habits provide a sense of authenticity and personal meaning. When your consistent actions align with your values, you experience a greater sense of satisfaction and success. 

Your guiding principles become the foundation upon which your daily actions and practices are built. Your North Star serves as the compass for you to propel yourself closer to your goals. Once you’ve identified the whole health practices that match your values, the focus shifts to not just what you do, but also when and how you integrate each habit into your unique lifestyle. It’s essential to recognize that positive habits and practices can vary from person to person based on their values and fundamentals. What matters most is your consistent engagement in these practices. Your new priority becomes the timing and method of implementing each habit based on your unique circumstances.

This shift involves revisiting your strategy regularly and, more importantly, staying attuned to the grounding practices that resonate most with your North Star. It’s about understanding when and how to carry out these habits consistently. Motivation and accountability play vital roles in this micro-level implementation phase. The more you repeatedly engage in your whole health practices, the more you carve new pathways towards meaningful change. The timing and manner in which you execute these actions should align with your energy levels; choose a version and time of day for each action that brings you joy and excitement.

Each practice complements the others, so trust the synchronicity of each day. Prioritize your top daily whole health practice, and you will likely find that others naturally follow suit as a byproduct of grounding into your top one or two practices. Embrace imperfection; acknowledge that “bad days” happen, but what truly matters is your consistent effort, your commitment, and the self-love and trust you cultivate through these practices and rituals. The ebb and flow of the process is all part of the beautiful integration. 

Visualize your ideal day, the one where you feel most productive, and revisit why these practices hold meaning for you. As things shift within your life, pivot and make adjustments to which practices hold priority and why. The ebb and flow of the process is all part of the beautiful integration. 

Creating a supportive physical environment and seeking guidance from a coach or mentor can also be invaluable as you navigate this journey. 

The magic resides in the ritual, the repetition of your unique version of whole health. Trust the process, embrace the patterns, and believe in your propensity for growth. Intentional change lies within you; let your practices ground you, anchor you, and center you. Allow them to nourish your mind, body, and soul, guiding you towards a life that aligns with the most authentic and joy-filled version of you.

Until next time, 

Be You. Love Them.