The holiday season is the perfect chance to reflect on our year. Self-reflection is an important tool to help us define what has worked well for us and to recognise the areas we’d like to continue to work on. This can help us achieve our health goals as we learn which aspects of our behaviour we should focus on.
Where to start
A great way to reflect is to write down your thoughts in a journal. Take notes and, as a good starting point, consider:
- What went well in 2019?
- What new habits did you build?
- What did you struggle with?
- What habits would you like to break?
Starting the new year we usually feel motivated to make lifestyle changes. However, when we feel less motivated or are struggling to get back on track, looking back on our reflections can be very motivating. It can help to remind us of why it’s worth it to persevere and continue with your healthy choices.
Studies have shown that journaling can boost your memory, which might help you keep your goals in mind. It’s a great way to organise the thoughts in your mind and help you make sense of them. More regular self-reflection and journaling can also be a valuable tool to identify any negative thought patterns or trends between your emotions and behaviours.
For example, we might journal about how we tried out some new healthy recipes and really enjoyed them. Then, we could read this reflection back if we are considering buying an unhealthy takeaway and remember that we enjoyed the healthy food we made ourselves. This is more likely to result in us deciding to cook our own meal and stick to our healthy habits while saving money!
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What counts as an achievement or struggle?
Achievements, struggles, or thoughts don’t have to be monumental to be journaled. It’s often more motivating to focus a few smaller habits.
For example, we might journal that we achieved getting off the bus a stop early on our commute home, so we got a short walk in once a week. In contrast, we might journal that we struggled with drinking more than 1 glass of water each day. There’s no such thing as an achievement or struggle that’s too small.
Looking back on any achievements, however small, can motivate us to make further changes when we are feeling disheartened.
In 2019, the Second Nature programme helped individuals achieve their health goals and build healthy, sustainable habits. This year, our achievements here at Second Nature include:
1) 19,364 new members joined.
This is roughly the population of Aberystwyth in Wales.
2) A total of 117,102 kgs were lost between members.
This is roughly the weight of 24 elephants!
3) Second Nature members walked a total of 9,006,860,385 steps.
This is roughly equivalent to walking around the world 17 times!
Our team are constantly reflecting on feedback from members and trying to improve our programme and app. This year we learned that:
1) Members wanted the sense of community to continue after they finished the 3-month core programme.
So, we developed the in-app sustain community. This connects members who are all in the same stage of the programme and is an excellent place to exchange tips, recipes, and be inspired and motivated by others.
2) Members suggested it would be easier to build healthy habits if they could track their progress in the app.
So, our product team built a habit tracking feature, which allows you to track your progress. Any habits surrounding exercise, nutrition, mindset, sleep, and stress can be tracked. The latest feature also allows you to track how easy you are finding a particular behaviour (from ‘still learning’ to ‘automatic’). Whether it is drinking more water or reducing your screen time, watching healthy habits become second nature can be very motivating.
3) People wanted to forge relationships with other members of the Second Nature community.
So, our product team developed the ability to add friends in the app. This allows members to privately message others on a similar journey. You can even invite friends to have a steps competition with you if you are lacking in motivation!