Every year, many of us challenge ourselves with new resolutions, yet in most cases, they’re abandoned before the end of January. To instill lasting change, swap a resolution for a single word to become your mindset for the year. Think health, novel or grace. For example, living a novel mindset will encourage you to try new things.
A mindset should be a compass to make decisions throughout the year.
When you filter decisions through the lens of your mindset for the year, the right choice becomes clearer. At Ergotron, our mindset centers on movement. We know that sedentary behavior negatively impacts individual and public health, so we build movement and mobility into all the products we design.
If you also commit to a movement mindset, you know the right answer to questions like: Should I take the stairs or the escalator? Should I stand while browsing through emails? Should I join a rock-climbing gym?
Make failure harder and success easier
Another benefit of choosing a mindset over a resolution is the freedom on how to achieve it. Establishing a movement mindset enables you to start thinking about all your activities combined. It doesn’t force you to bike to the store in the snow or walk in the rain to a restaurant if you don’t want to. You can look at the broader picture of movement throughout your day rather than being forced into strict criteria that may lead to failure.
Embracing a movement mindset in 2021 can start with simple changes like:
- Standing during meetings.
- Walking around the house during commercials.
- Using a standing desk to switch between sitting and standing every 30 minutes.
- Taking a five-minute exercise break.
We get that changing behavior isn’t always easy. By understanding the science of habit change, as discussed by James Clear in his best-selling book, Atomic Habits (2018), we can learn to break the bad ones and create new, beneficial ones.
Make it obvious
No matter what habit you’re trying to embrace, you need to clearly define what that habit is and make the details obvious. I’m going to walk the dog for 10 minutes every day before work.
Make it attractive
Find an activity that resonates with you. If you want to exercise more and hate running, don’t pick running as your new habit. When there are alternatives, don’t choose something you don’t like. Instead, find a more appealing alternative like walking, cycling or swimming. You could even incorporate more unusual activities like dancing, roller skating or hula hooping.
Make it easy
Set yourself up for success by preparing for your activity to make it easy to complete. If you want to eat healthier snacks, you need to have them in the house or office and ready to eat.
If you have a standing desk and are not standing as much as you’d like, physically move the chair to another location in the room while standing.
Make it satisfying
Setting a reward scheme can help with the toughest habits. If you’re establishing walking habits, walk to destinations you want to visit. Use this as an opportunity to explore new parts of your surroundings. You can also tie habits you enjoy to motivate yourself to complete less satisfying habits like listening to music or podcasts while exercising or playing a video game after cooking dinner.
Always celebrate your success
No matter what you want to change this year, remember that change can be hard. Small, positive changes will help lead to long-term progress. Even reducing undesired behaviors should be celebrated because you’re still embracing your mindset.
Cheers to movement in 2021 and beyond!