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Designing your home to help you stick to good habits.

Create a reading area on a landing space

Did you know that almost 43% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions before the end of January? But what if the key to sticking to your goals wasn’t just about willpower? Research shows that our surroundings can significantly shape our behaviours, and making small changes to our homes can help us build and maintain healthy habits throughout the year. By designing your home to support healthy habits, you can create an environment that promotes wellness and makes it easier to achieve your goals. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Designing a Home to help you stick to good Habits

Environmental design and choice architecture

Environmental design is based on the idea that how we design and organise our homes can significantly impact our behaviour, emotions, and habits. Think of it this way – if your home is cluttered and disorganised, it can be difficult to focus and get work done. On the other hand, if your home is designed to be a calming and inspiring space, you may find yourself more motivated and productive. By intentionally designing our homes to support our goals, we can create an environment that encourages the behaviours we want to cultivate.

Make Healthy Eating Easy and Attractive

Eating healthier and making better food choices is something many of us strive for. By making small changes to your kitchen and dining areas, you can create a space that encourages and supports these habits. 

Keeping kitchen surfaces clear and organised can make meal prep more manageable. If you’re working with an existing kitchen, consider creating a designated space for meal prep, with all the tools and ingredients easily accessible. Having everything to hand can help eliminate the need to search for ingredients or tools, making it more likely you’ll cook after a busy day at work. Cabinet organisers are another great investment; they will keep your cabinets tidy and clutter-free and make it much easier to find what you need, making cooking more efficient and enjoyable.

Functionality should be a top priority if you’re planning a new kitchen layout. Ensure there’s enough counter space, good lighting, and ample storage. Consider adding a kitchen island or peninsula to provide additional prep space and storage if you have the space. Drawers are a better choice for storage than cupboards, so incorporate as many as you can. 

Make sure you have enough space for a dining table to accommodate everyone. Having a designated space for family meals and gatherings will help to encourage more home-cooked meals and less take-out. If drinking more water is a goal, consider installing a filtered water tap; several on the market can be easily retrofitted to your existing sink. Many of the boiling water taps also come with a filtered water setting. 

Promote Physical Activity

Setting up a home gym or workout area is a great way to encourage physical activity. Choose exercise equipment you enjoy using, such as a treadmill, exercise bike, or free weights. Keeping your workout gear and equipment in a visible and easily accessible place can also help motivate you to exercise regularly. But the caveat here is to ensure they are stored in a space that is easy for you to work out in; I have a friend who has all her equipment in her children’s den, making it almost impossible to work out when her kids are home. 

If you have the space, consider creating a dedicated home gym or workout room. This can provide a dedicated space for exercise, free from distractions and clutter. If you’re short on space, choose an infrequently used room like a guest bedroom or home office where you’re more likely to be able to use the room at the same time every day of the week. Look for workout equipment that can be stored easily when not in use, such as resistance bands or collapsible exercise equipment. Consider installing a pull-up bar in a doorway or a wall-mounted shelf for yoga equipment to make incorporating fitness into your daily routine easy, even if you only have a few minutes to spare.

Making exercise more enjoyable can also encourage regular activity. Consider installing a TV or sound system in your workout area to make them more entertaining or motivating. Something as simple as a Bluetooth speaker to listen to your favourite Spotify playlists can make all the difference. 

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Encourage productivity and learning

Whether you are working from home or helping a child or young person foster good study habits, minimising distractions is a great first step. Clear away unnecessary gadgets and ensure a quiet, tech-free zone for focused work or study. Consider creating a device-drop area for phones and tablets when not in use. 

Investing in ergonomic furniture is also crucial for productivity and learning. Proper chair and desk heights can support good posture during extended work or study sessions. Where possible, separate work or study areas from rest spaces to establish clear boundaries. Use curtains, screens, or furniture to conceal the workspace when not in use. This can help create a more focused and productive environment.

Ensure the space is healthy with proper ventilation, heating, and lighting. A well-ventilated room with good task lighting can boost productivity and well-being. Decluttering your workspace and organising essential supplies can also help. Open shelving and storage solutions can keep everything within reach, minimising distractions and promoting a more focused environment.

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Optimise Home
Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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