The first step to creating a supportive environment is to become mindful of your surroundings. This means taking the time to observe your environment and identifying areas that may be causing stress or hindering your productivity. Take your time with this step, as you may be used to just accepting things as they are – or have always been. But whether it’s your personal space (your home) or a space that is a little less controllable (like an office), there are always things you can do to help your environment, help you.
One way to start is by decluttering your space. A cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind, making it difficult to focus and achieve your goals. Start by clearing out items that are no longer serving a purpose and organizing your space in a way that is functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Another way to create a mindful environment is by incorporating nature into your surroundings. Studies have shown that being in nature can reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Adding plants or natural elements, such as a water feature or a rock garden, can create a calming and peaceful environment that promotes relaxation and creativity.
The next step to structuring your environment for success is to set intentions for your space. This means identifying your goals and creating an environment that supports them.
For example, if your goal is to reduce your lower back and neck pain that you come see us for, think back to some of the lifestyle factors we’ve identified together (we never JUST focus on your treatment in office – we go through a thorough discussion with each patient focused on lifestyle changes outside of our office). Does poor posture play a role? Set up your desk in an ergonomic way. Do you get headaches and neck pain because of too much time spent staring at screens? Stop spending so much time on the couch, and make your walking shoes visible by the front door to remind you to take screen breaks. By creating a space that is specifically designed for your needs and challenges, you are more likely to follow through with your intentions and achieve your wellness goals.
Similarly, if you are trying to eat healthier, create a kitchen environment that supports your goals. This could mean stocking your pantry with healthy snacks and removing unhealthy temptations. By setting intentions for your environment, you are creating a supportive space that promotes your overall well-being.
Make the things you need to do easier to do and the tools you need most accessible and ideally visible. Apply the opposite logic to those things that hinder your goals (looking at you, bag of chips). Either remove them completely, or make them harder to access.
Consistency and Maintenance
Lastly, it is essential to maintain consistency in your environment to promote long-term success. This means regularly evaluating your surroundings and making necessary adjustments to support your goals.
For example, if you have created a designated workout space but find that you are not using it, reevaluate its location or design. Maybe it’s too cluttered or not easily accessible. By consistently evaluating and making adjustments, you are creating an environment that is tailored to your needs and promotes your overall well-being.
Structuring your environment for success is an ongoing and dynamic process that requires mindfulness, intention, and consistency. By creating a supportive environment that aligns with your goals and values, you can promote your overall well-being and achieve success in all areas of life.
What small steps can you take this week towards creating a more mindful and supportive environment?
It can be challenging to remember to take the time to evaluate your environment, and to be motivated enough to change it. So, remember, you are in control of your environment, and it can be a powerful tool to help you reach your goals. It can also be a powerful obstacle. Which would you prefer?
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