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Your Home Design Can Support Good Habits

Good home design supports good life habits

A new comfy sofa, a fluffy, colorful pillow, or a new kitchen is usually what comes to mind when we’re making plans to decorate and design our home. In fact, we often think about how things will look like rather than how things will work. We generally don’t consider what kind of effect the design or décor might have on us, or how it can support good habits.

What if your decorated home has more influence on you than you think? Could the design of your home help you to work out regularly? Is it possible to decorate a home that eased distractions that interfered with your charting task? Imagine if your home helped you stick to whatever that new habit it is you’re trying to form?

Could your home influence how you live, and help you to form and follow good life habits?

Good news… your home just might be able to do that!  

I’ve been reading James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, and have been fascinated by so many of his ideas.  

How our home affects our productivity, success and ability to relax and recharge has always been something I’ve thought a lot about, especially when I’m designing a space for a client. James Clear has articulated a lot of what I have observed and believe to be true in the chapter entitled, “Motivation is Overrated. Environment Often Matters More.” 

Think about these design examples:

  • I’m more likely to remember to feed the dog if the dog food bin is in the well-used pantry rather than stored in the garage just outside our door.
  • Skipping my morning routine of journaling is much less likely if I keep my journal in a cabinet right next to my favorite chair where I sit and drink coffee.
  • If my home gym has a clear view of my young kids playing, I’m much more likely to workout. Tuck the equipment away in an isolated part of the house and I’ll probably find an excuse not to.
  • I eat more fruit than chips if I have a big bowl of my favorite fruit on the counter. Best to keep those chips tucked away in the cabinet… although in my case, staying away from the chips is somewhat questionable!

James Clear describes why these are true: 

“…many of the actions we take each day are shaped not by purposeful drive and choice but by the most obvious option.” 

James Clear, Atomic Habits

When I’m designing a space for a client I’m not only thinking about what it will look like or how it will function for their family, but I’m also asking:

What are your goals?
— What good habits would you like to form?
— What bad habits would you like to get rid of?

You can ask yourself the same questions when remodeling or redecorating your home.

Think about your existing habits

Are there any habits you want to continue? Would you like to change any habits? How could you design your space so that the habits you want to form are visually cued?

I’ll be exploring this topic more in future posts… but for now just consider all of the possibilities. I’ll wrap it up by a final quote from “Atomic Habits.”

“…it should come as no surprise that visual cues are the greatest catalyst of our behavior. For this reason, a small change in what you see can lead to a big shift in what you do. As a result, you can imagine how important it is to live and work in environments that are filled with productive cues and devoid of unproductive ones.  

Thankfully, there is good news in this respect. You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.”

James Clear, Atomic Habits

If you need help designing a home that promotes good habits, be sure to review which of my design services would be right for you. 

Kricia Palmer, MD, ASID | Doctor, life coach & interior designer

I’m Kricia Palmer, and I help female physicians get out of survival mode and create homes they feel energized, organized and supported in. Get me FREE guide on how to feel confident at work and connected at home.

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