Home Interior Design for Better Habits. Self-development by Design. | Ana Marcu | Skillshare

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Home Interior Design for Better Habits. Self-development by Design.

teacher avatar Ana Marcu, Home Wellbeing, Licensed architect

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. 00 Intro

      2:00
    • 2. 01 The Automatic Pilot

      2:39
    • 3. 02 Identity

      1:55
    • 4. 03 Limited Willpower

      2:05
    • 5. 04 Get Into The Habit

      1:34
    • 6. 05 Create Headspace

      7:14
    • 7. 06 Eat Healthy

      6:53
    • 8. 07 Exercise

      4:42
    • 9. 08 Spend Time With Loved Ones

      5:31
    • 10. 09 Work On Things You Love

      2:52
    • 11. 10 Recycle

      5:27
    • 12. 11 Habit Support

      2:02
    • 13. 12 Class Project

      1:38
    • 14. 13 Final Thoughts

      0:41
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About This Class

In this class, I want to teach you how powerful our environment really is. The design of the environment not only impacts our feelings but our actions too. Although we have our willpower to guide us, because using it can make us feel depleted, we often use "automatic" actions, ingrained in us by repetition called habits. 

We can design our environments to support great habits or we can design them such that we develop bad habits. It's very taxing on our willpower to be physically active in an environment that is designed for lying down and sleeping for example.

In this class you will learn:

1. the latest scientific evidence about the power of environmental design

2. what are habits and how they impact our identity

3. how to design your home so you can have more time and headspace

4. How to design your home so that you can: 

a) eat healthily

b) exercise

c) spend more time with loved ones

d) work on things you love 

e) recycle 

Everything you do / or don't do overtime adds up to a positive or a negative result. 

The people who are most disciplined are not the ones who have the strongest willpower but the ones who set up their environment in a way that they are least tempted. Sticking to your habits does not require self-control but some clever design in advance. 

Resources: 

The class is inspired by the book "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. 

You can find all the photos I have used in this class in my "Home design for better habits" Pinterest board.

**Captions available 

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Who am I?

I’m a licensed architect with over a decade of experience in Vienna, Austria. I have a double degree in Architecture and "Building Science and Technology" and I am deeply passionate about design psychology and optimising interior design in order to create great emotional experiences for people. My goal is to design spaces that make people FEEL loved, happier, healthier, and more creative.

In my classes, you will find tips and strategies that will help you design a great home. You will learn how certain design decisions can influence your emotions and behaviour and what you can do to create a home that will make you feel happier and supported in your goals.

You can also check out my class How to Think Like an Architect.

Books and Media I love.  

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Links to other classes

A Hygge Home: Danish Interior Design Principles for Cosiness and Comfort.

Room Fragrances. How Scents Influence your Performance, Wellbeing & Interior Design Experience.

Color Psychology. The Influence of Color on Emotions & Behavior in Architectural & Interior Design.

Home Office Interior Design. Work from Home like a Boss.

Interior Design for Small Apartments. Space Saving Hacks for Studio and One Bedroom Apartments.

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Home Wellbeing, Licensed architect

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Transcripts

1. 00 Intro: in 2012 the Massachusetts General Hospital designed an experiment. They wanted to see if they can persuade people to make healthier beverage choices in the hospital cafeteria simply by changing the way the cafeteria was set up. Initially, the refrigerators were filled with soda, and so they added water to them. Additionally, to that they placed water baskets next to every food station in the cafeteria. So basically water was everywhere. After a couple of months, they had a look at the sales. Water sales were up 25% while soda sales were down 11%. If you had asked any person in the cafeteria why they chose the beverage, they did, they probably would have said: "Because I wanted to." But what the research demonstrates is that a lot of choices were made simply because water was more prevalent in the environment, and in some cases, closer to their hands than soda was. One simple change in the environment impacted a lot of people and influence them to make a healthier choice. And this, without anybody exercising any willpower. If the environment can impact our choices, how is our home environment impacting us? And could we design it in such a way that it will help us make better choices? I'm here to tell you that YES! that is possible. Hi, my name is Ana Marcu I'm a licensed architect in Vienna, Austria. And I'm passionate about designing spaces that make people feel happier, healthier and more creative. Today's class is based on the book "Atomic Habits" by James Clear and I'm here to extend on his concepts into more actionable steps that will help your design or redesign your home so that you can exercise choices that will help you become the best version of yourself. 2. 01 The Automatic Pilot: Having to make constant choices requires a lot of energy, and energy is expensive, so our brain is always looking for methods to conserve that energy and "habits" are a great way to do that. For example, tying your shoelaces for the first time required a lot of concentration. But you have done it so often and you have repeated it so much that it has become pretty much automatic. You can have a conversation while you tie your shoe laces or think about something else. You've basically freed the amount of energy that you needed for the shoelaces and used it somewhere else. You have less wasted energy. And what is outstanding is how many of these little programs we have ingrained in ourselves over the years. Just think about it: Brushing your teeth in the morning, What happens after brushing your teeth, looking left and right when crossing the street. This coffee shop you go to every morning before you go to work, you're drive to work. Have you ever stopped in the parking lot and asked yourself "How did I get here?" It's because the brain is always looking for ways to conserve energy, and we are always running on the automatic pilot. So the important thing then, is to make sure that when we are running on the automatic pilot, we're doing the right thing rather than the wrong thing. We choose the wake up sooner rather than later. We choose veggies over sweet. We floss. We respond with kindness rather than irritability, and so on. And the way to help our automatic pilot to do that is by setting our environment in such a way that doing the right thing is very, very easy. And doing the wrong thing is very, very hard. By very easy. I mean, there will be no willpower, no massive effort, no prior preparation steps like pulling things from boxes or anything that requires massive effort. And by very hard I mean the opposite. The friction to do the wrong thing will have to jolt us out of the automatic pilot, force us to use our willpower for which we will have to have a really good excuse. Yes, you can have that cookie, but you have to dig you from the bottom off the top shelf or buy it from the store at the opposite side of town. It will have to require such a massive amount of effort, and energy, and willpower from you that you will have to stop and consciously think "Is this really what I should be doing with my time?" 3. 02 Identity: The special thing about habits is that they're very much tied to our identity. As we pick a new habit we develop a new side of ourselves. You start running five times a week, you call yourself a runner. You start eating only vegetables, you call yourself a vegan. Doing something repeatedly, reinforces a narrative we tell ourselves. Sometimes the story can be positive, but sometimes the story can also be negative. Like I'm bad with math, or I keep forgetting people's names. Each time you meet someone, and you happen to forget their name You reinforce that story about yourself and solidify it in the perception about yourself. So you contribute to shaping your identity with every little action that you take by reinforcing one story or another about yourself. The great thing about habits though, is that you can control which story goes to your identity in which one doesn't. So you have to exercise some of your willpower in the beginning, but once you adopt an identity you start behaving in accordance with who you are and do not exercise your willpower anymore. Why do habits matter? We live in a outcome-focused society. We think that what needs to change is a number on the scale or in the bank account or the test score. But what really needs to change are the little actions a.k.a "habit" that preceded that result. The test scores are the result of great learning habits, and the number on the scale is the result of great eating habits, and the number in the bank account is the result of great financial habits. So really, what we need to do is shift our attention away from the results and towards acquiring great habits. If we acquire good habits, the results are going to take care of themselves. 4. 03 Limited Willpower: In 2011 a couple of researchers from Stanford looked at the decisions made by 8 parole board judges, serving in four major prisons trying to understand what influenced their decision making the most. The study lasted 10 months, and during this period about 1100 decisions were made between the 8 of them. The prisoners would be seen by one of the judges, and it would be decided if they would leave the prison before the original sentence would be over. So if the original sentence was, let's say, 10 months, then during this parole hearings, it would be decided if they could leave before that. Now, you would think that the decisions the judges made were based on the severity of the criminal act and the behavior the criminal displayed during his or her time in prison. But what was revealed was that the biggest influence on their decision was the time of day when the parole hearing would take place. It turns out that it would be much more likely to leave prison if the prisoners hearing would take place in the morning or right after the two short breaks the judges had during the day. This is also known as the "decision fatigue". The more decisions you have to take during the day, the less power you have to make the right decision by the end of the day. Since our willpower is limited, we have to find ways not to use it. And this is where the design of our environment comes into play. Just like the visitors of the hospital cafeteria were improving their health by choosing water over soda, we too have to design our environment in such a way that it will make it extra easy for us to do the right habit, an extra hard to do the wrong ones. The most disciplined people are not the ones with the strongest willpowers, but those who have set up for themselves the kind of environment that will make them use it the least. 5. 04 Get Into The Habit: So how can you exercise your habits by conserivng your willpower? There are many techniques, but I'm going to talk about four of them. Use your will power when you have a lot, either in the morning or after long periods of rest. Use just a little by making the habit very very small and easy to do. Remember, you want to focus on getting the habits to become part of your identity, not getting big results. The results are going to take care of themselves. Make the environmental cues more prevalent if you want to get into a habit and less prevalent If you want to break a bad habit. Have an immediate reward. Remember habits are activities that bring with them a delayed gratification. But this is not how we evolved as primates. So bring that immediate gratification by tracking your habits, either using streaks or simply paying attention to how you feel and finding those moments of joy that you really like about that specific habit. The habits that I intend to focus on in this class are a couple that I believe everybody could benefit from. These are: exercising, eating healthy, standing more time with loved ones, spending time on activities that you love and recycling. If you don't find that habit that you are looking for on this list, try to extrapolate these four steps t the habits that you want to acquire 6. 05 Create Headspace : Before I go into explaining how to invest your time in great habits, I'd like to explain a little bit how the design of your environment could give you more headspace. Remember, one aspect about habits is their compound character. Just like investing money in the bank or putting reps in the gym or eating healthy day after day is going to get you the one outcome, so is investing time in meaningless activities repeatedly is going to bring you to outcomes that might not bring as much value to you. So I want to give you some design principles that will help you cut back on time wasted around the house and provide you with the necessary headspace so you can focus on the things that matter. Here are my five tips: 1. Have less stuff. I know you think you don't have enough stuff, and in fact you could need more stuff. And I here to tell you that it's possible to still cut down on the things you own without cutting back on the quality of your life. Really look at your things and think about what we're actually still using. What are you not using anymore? When was the last time you used your things? Think about it. If you have more stuff, you have more stuff to wash, to dust, to clean. to maintain and to worry about. More stuff takes more mental space. So think about ways in which you could own less but better things and of a higher quality which have more purposes and with longer shelf life. They will be like your good old friends that you can rely on that you know, really, really well, rather than those friends you met at some party you never heard of. 2. Use Zones. Architects use zones to define which function each part of the building has. You might have seen such informational graphics in museums or galleries. THey tell you your current location and what topics each of the museum room contains. Each room has a certain color, which defines a certain topic like a person or a period or a style, and it depicts options connecting to its topic. If you're in the art museum, they might be dedicated to a different artist, or styles. If you're in a history museum the rooms might be dedicated to certain category of objects, like rocks, or dinosaurs. So zones are useful because it makes it easier for people to navigate the museum and understand better how each of the artists is part of a certain period of time or how styles relate to each other. You don't see Picasso paintings in the same rooms as the dinosaurs or even with a different artist, unless they are related in some form, some historical period or some style and so on and therefore are part of the same category . So my encouragement to you is to treat your personal belongings like the objects of display in a museum. Not by putting each of them in the security box mind you, but by keeping them each in one spot. What I mean by that is keep books in one place. Keep food in one place. Keep cosmetics in one place. Don't keep them in the bathroom and on some corridors and in your bedroom. Keep clothes in one place, possibly all in the same wardrobe. So as obvious as this might sound for some people and not so obvious for others keeping similar types of objects in one place will have three benefits: It will cut down on the time you're looking for things. It will help your mind with spatial orientation and will contribute to a sense of control you have over your personal environment. Think about how hopeless you feel when you can't find anything. Number three. Reduce the number of furniture pieces. When it comes to storage furniture, you want to replace the spatial fragmentation of many different size cabinets with floor to ceiling wardrobes. They can indeed pack a lot, but they also make the space feel less fragmented, more seamless and easier to understand. Our mind feels more relaxed when it is able to understand the space quickly. If you already have a wardrobe, but it doesn't quite reach the ceiling, talk to a carpenter to close the top part. You will have more storage, and you make the space look more compact. Limit open shelves as much as possible. Avoid the antique shop aesthetic by limiting the open shelves. Again, the more open furniture surface you have, the more stuff will end up on it, and the more frequently you have to dust. This is double troublesome: once for how an environment like this makes you feel, and secondly, for the extra amount of work you are getting. Our brain is always trying to decipher the environment and a cluttered environment or an environment with many different objects on display can really tire us out. Our brain is always looking for patterns, and it's great at recognizing objects that belong together. This helped in our evolution with understanding what the things around us were. Is it a tree? Is it a tiger? Am I safe or am I about to become dinner? But if the objects around us are quite randomly set together, than our brain can feel tired quite quickly. So use furniture that has doors. You will reduce the frequency of dusting, but also you don't have to look at the many things around you. Cut down on mindless entertainment. Everyone believes they watch too much TV. But what are you most likely to do when you go into your living room? You are most likely to sit on the couch. And what are you most likely you do when you sit on the couch? You are most likely to turn on the TV. We design rooms that make us want to watch TV all the time, but we want to watch less TV and we beat ourselves up for not having more self control. This isn't that crazy? Is that our fault, or is it the environment that influences us? Think about that for a second. So could we design the environment so that we eould have to watch less TV? There are a number of things you can do. You can mask the TV behind wall cabinets for moving doors like in these examples. you can turn the couch to face a different direction other than the TV in place the TV behind the curtain. You can make the friction of doing the action bigger. You could unplug the TV and replug it only if there is something specific you want to see. You can also use an outlet timer, which is basically a device that cuts off the power of any device plugged into it. You could, for example, use it for your WiFi router and set a time limit on your Internet usage. 7. 06 Eat Healthy: Let's start with the habits you want more of! How can your home support you into eating a little healthier? A couple of tweaks in your environment can truly change your eating habits. Keep the kitchen clutter-free. According to studies clutter in the kitchen makes people snack more and put on more weight. People in cluttered environments eat 44% more snacks, so keep your kitchen orderly. Number two. Have fruits and vegetables at eye level. Remember, you want to make more prevalent the things you want more of, and less prevalent the things you want less of. Put all the fruits and vegetables at eye level and in sight and conversely, all the snacks out of sight and in hard to reach places. Shopping mall vendors know this too. Products placed at eye level are much more likely to sell and therefore cost more to place on higher shelves. So take this well-known fact and apply it to yourself in your home. Put bowl of fruits and water pitchers on the kitchen counter and on your tables if you want to eat more fruits and drink more water. Don't get a microwave. Good, healthy meals don't take that long to prepare and you really want to invest the time to cook a meal that nourishes your body, Use small plates. If you have a look at this graphic, the dark circle on the right appears to be smaller than the one on the left. That is because we see it in relationship with the bigger circle around it. But in fact, the two dark circles in the middle are equal. We see things in proportion, to others and so when we have bigger plates we'll see our food as not enough. We will add more food to the plate, even though we would feel satiated with less food. So keep the plates small. Use herbs and spices. There is more to life than fat, salt and sugar, and herbs can make a bland food very aromatic and interesting. It can really satisfy the urge to feel strong tastes. Use herbs and spices and keep them somewhere where you can see them all the time. You can put them in pots by the window. You can put spices in jars and drawers, or if your kitchen is very small, put them somewhere in sight, like these magnetic containers, which can be placed on the refrigerator. Light can affect the way you eat. Especially soft lighting, can calm us down and make us more comfortable and disinhibited. Think about some of your favorite restaurants and bars. They have used this idea for quite some time in the hope to entice their customers to stay for a drink a little longer. Soft lighting makes us want to linger long enough to consider an unplanned desert or an extra drink. Basically, the darker delighting, the more you are likely to eat something you weren't actually intending to eat. So wherever you dine, maybe that's your kitchen. maybe that's your dining area, consider bringing up the lights. Mindfulness. Mindfulness techniques have been very effective to combat various types of addictions, like food addictions or smoking.The binging and self loathing cycle that happens in addiction seems to be broken effectively by mindfulness. The immediate reward and satisfaction that we think we are having when we engage in addictive behaviors is hacked by noticing little by little, how unwell we really feel. Because we break habits that make us feel good it is often important to really pay attention to the feeling. Often that chocolate cake does not taste all that great after the fifth bite and cigarettes are kind of disgusting. But we need to lean into the feeling and not necessarily our logic, to break bad habits. Simply paying attention to the taste in our mouth for the entire period of eating or smoking seems to be very effective at breaking the spell of various food and cigarettes addictions have on us. Take a few moments from your week to make eating a moment of self-pampering and nourishment . Preparing a meal and having that moment of mindfulness for yourself should be something you associate a lot of positive feelings with and something you look forward. Here are a couple of broad ideas, but ultimately what makes you want to be more mindful is very personal. Get rid of distractions like TV or phone. You should be able to have 30 minutes for yourself. If you know you are notorious with watching screens, perhaps you just don't keep one in the kitchen. Alternatively, you could hide them behind cabinet doors like in this example. Position your table in such a way that you can look out the window. There is more and more research demonstrating that our contact with nature has a restorative effect on our minds and bodies. From patients being discharged early because they had windows facing nature to workers feeling more refreshed and able to concentrate better, nature seems to be a source of well being to everyone. So used this idea for your moment of mindfulness by positioning yourself in such a way that you look out the window when you eat. If there's no greenery to be seen out your window, bring a couple of potted plants inside. You can have them set on a wall or simply place a couple of seeds in some mason jars. The con really changed the mood in the kitchen, as well as give you fresh herbs all year round. If potted plants are not for you, fresh cut flowers are also nice. They can have a particularly nice effect if you combine them with fruits and vegetables like in this case. They're rich in colors and have an exuberant aesthetic, which will immediately lift your spirits up. If you are lacking space for plants, you can always hang them from the ceiling like in the case of these sophisticated lamps. Combining fruits and herbs together, looks nice as well, and it doesn't have to be expensive. Even in these industrial trays they can still have an uplifting effect. Lastly, what you need to create a special moment of food mindfulness is up to you. Perhaps you use some soothing music or some candles or your most beautiful plates. Make sure eating is not hectic at least a couple of times a week, but a pleasurable moment off self pampering. 8. 07 Exercise: Before we go into how your home can support you into living a more active lifestyle, I'd like to draw your attention to the golden rule: Go outside! Spend at least 30 minutes to get your vitamin D, which is connected to good brain health, fresh air to oxygenate the brain and exercise in nature. This is connected to lowering stress levers and boosting your immune system. Now let's go back to our home design. Create more space! Remember that I mentioned that in order to get back your time, I suggested replacing your small cabinets with ceiling high wardrobes. That is also one way to free the space in the rest of the house. Another way is to keep more mobile types of furniture that you can easily push to the side should you need more space. Ideally though, you want to have a place in your home that is always free. A space free or furniture, naturally makes us want to move more. Now I'm not saying you should remove everything, but enough for you to stretch your arms and legs in all directions and not hit anything. It doesn't have to be an entire room. It can only be a part of the room. And what do you do when you find yourself in a room with a lot of space? You jump, you twirl, because, hey! Space! You will not be bumping into anything. It should be the natural setting to encourage you to start with small stretches and moves and get you to the habit of exercising. Use mirrors. Now that you have space, you could add a few tall mirrors. They would help accentuate the illusion of space in the room and make the room a little brighter and help you perfect your dancing moves. Use round corners. According to research, it appears that looking at pointy objects really activates our Amygdala, which is a part of our brain that processes fear. More and more research demonstrates that we really find curves beautiful. Woman do too, not just men. And that is because our rather primitive brain sees that as not threatening. Furniture with round corners encourages free movement and even creative thinking. In case you should bomb into something, no big deal right, so you naturally feel less inhibited. Use bright colours. Bright colours bring out feelings of joy and happiness in us. I mentioned this in my previous class home office design, that we associate an explosion off colours with watching a field of blooming flowers, and trees, which usually depicts a nourishing environment, an environment that is able to sustain us long term. This naturally brings a feeling of excitement, enthusiasm in us. It's hard to feel lethargy when the colours around your popping. By contrast, if you are looking at dark colours, they encourage us to lie down, to sit down, to linger more. Our melatonin levels go up and our body is ready to sleep. Be warned. Only used this kind of aesthetic if you want more chilling and sleeping in your life. Playfulness. This is something that I have found work for me. I didn't look into the research quite that much, but I encourage you to support the bright colour aesthetic with a couple of playful elements . Encourage playfulness in yourself by practicing with balls or by adding a funny lamp here and there. It keeps your mind in a playful state. In a " life should not be taken too seriously" kind of mood. Have easy access to your gear. Sometimes going to the gym may be too much to ask from our willpower, especially at the end of the day. If you want to exercise more, have your exercise gear easily accessible. Don't put in a hard to reach place. Don't put it in another room other than the one where you intend to exercise. Make it super easy for yourself to get out of bed and start moving. Don't forget to start really small and pay attention to how you feel. Make exercising feel easy and slowly raise the intensity. Don't go high intensity from the beginning. We all have that piece of equipment at home that has not been used since the purchase and has since become the most expensive co track ever. 9. 08 Spend Time With Loved Ones: Study after study shows that if you are socially connected, you live longer. Social isolation is as big a factor in predicting premature death, as smoking is. If you are socially connected, you are happier. Social capital is more important in life satisfaction, than financial capital. In countries all around the world, people who are poor but socially connected are more satisfied than people who are rich but socially disconnected. Often when we look back at our happiest moments of our lives in very few of them we were completely alone. They often involve sharing an experience with other people. Being socially connected should be highly important on your list of habits, because it is as important to us as eating healthy and exercising. A couple of activities that you might have to consider when having friends and family over are cooking and eating together, perhaps watching some televised event on the screen, like Eurovision or a football game. Or perhaps a movie night, or some family event, like a birthday or a baby shower, or perhaps a hobby, like a book club or activities with kids like board games or crafting. There are many different reasons why you should have people over. Figure out what is more likely that you will do and adapt your space for those activities. Based on where you are in life, some activities are more likely to take place in your home than others. Make a list of all the activities that you think are going to take place in your home and then look for furniture based on that. Having many people over means that your kitchen in your living room have to be very flexible and provide more seating and perhaps more places at a table than usual. So here someone ideas of how you can make your kitchen and living room a bit more accommodating to more people than usual. Get a bigger kitchen. If you are just moving into an apartment, design the kitchen a little bigger from the start. Minuscule kitchens will not make even you want to stay there. Remember, you want to make the queues in your environment more pervaded if you want to certain, habit to be more frequent. So if you want to cook with friends more, get a bigger kitchen. If you can design it, make it a little larger from the start. Tear down the wall between living room and kitchen if you have one that is not load-bearing, so you can have more space for cooking and eating together. As you can see from this example, a beautiful kitchen doesn't have to cost a lot. Shabby chic has a beautiful aesthetic, too. You just need to find a bit more space. Have more kitchen counters. If you can only access a small kitchen by design, try to figure out how you could temporarily have space for more people cooking together. Perhaps you can expand the kitchen counters. Sometimes they can be built in like in this example. Or perhaps you can pull them off like drawers. Or if the kitchen island is already built in, you can expand it with a side table. Use temporary chairs! Have a set of temporary chairs that you can easily pullout. Or you can make use off little ottomans that can also be used as storage. They're relatively light and can be easily pushed around to accommodate more people. Have more table space. More table space in the eating area can be very useful when you have a big group of people coming together for diverse activities like eating cooking or crafting with little kids. If your place is not that big to begin with, it should not be a reason not to invite people over. You can make use of the classic extendable table, Or you can have wall-mounted tables like in this example, which can also act storage or mirror, which could save you a lot of space. Use a projector instead of a TV. It creates that cinematic-like atmosphere and is more inviting to groups of people to watch together. Not to mention it saves you a lot of space. It's very hard to invite the family to watch a movie on your laptop, but you can always invite friends over to a game night or a movie night and create that cinematic cosy feeling with a projector. The fun part about the projector is that you can always use the projector for an outdoor movie night, or even use it in different rooms of the house, something that you cannot really do with a TV. Reduce the size of the couch, by using lighter and more mobile modules that you can move around. Some couches are made from colourful mattresses that are lightweight and easy to stack together. You can push them on the side and have a couch, or spread them around and have a softer seating area for more people. Look at your living room as the flexibility room rather than a room that has a fixed design. And this design has to fit some style. It's a room where all kinds of activities take place: from exercising, to sitting together, to play with your kids. So make sure that the furniture is capable to support all these settings by being lightweight and flexible. 10. 09 Work On Things You Love: We often design our home according to standards presented to us: design blogs, design magazines. And then is fine. Inspiration is great because being surrounded by beautiful things is never wrong. But make sure that these beautiful things contribute to your life, to your habits, to your goals and your needs. If you create for yourself the habitat of a sloth, as stylish and as beautiful as it may be, don't be surprised that all you will be doing a sit and lie down. It will take a lot more willpower from you to be physically active in an environment that is specifically designed for lying down. So make sure you design your environment in such a way that the default behaviour is the behaviour that you want. Don't start with external examples in order to decide how to furnish your home. But start with yourself, your needs, your desires, your long term goals and then look for furniture that would support you to achieve that. Audit your activities. Really think about how you currently spend your time at home and ask yourself, When are you at home? What day of the week and what time of day? how much time do you spend at home? And how many hours? How much time you spend on each task: sleeping, eating, cooking, cleaning and what tasks do you want more of, and what tasks you want less of? Let's assume you want to work on a side hustle. Or perhaps you want to make more time for hobbies that you really love. Perhaps painting. What you need to do is to surround yourself with more cues about painting and make it very easy for you to start. Surround yourself with paintings, and paint books, subscriber painting magazines, and painting blogs, take painting classes, follow painting online, fill your physical and digital space with that of which you want to do more of, soon you will naturally feel more inclined to do more painting and try the techniques you have been seeing being presented to you. Make a painting corner in your house where all your tools and canvases are laid out, and all you have to do is just sit down and wet the brush. If you want to work more on your business, have a nook just for your office. All your tools are laid out just the way you want to and ready to go. You start at the push of a button. No packing and unpacking of boxes. All laid out and ready to go. Lastly, pay attention to how you feel when you work on your hobby. It is very difficult to get into a habit if it doesn't feel good. So find what feels good about what you do. 11. 10 Recycle: Another research worth mentioning was the one done at the London Business School, where researchers looked at a different percentages off organ donors in European countries . They found out that some countries had staggering high numbers of organ donors, while others really low numbers of organ donors. The reason, it turns out, is in the medical form people had to fill in. In countries with low organ donors, people were asked to "opt in" if they wanted to be an organ donor. While in countries with high organ donors, people were asked to opt out. The medical form said something like: "if you don't want to be an organ donor, check here." And people never checked it. Being an organ donor was the default option. You think you are in control of most of your choices, but really, it turns out that most of our actions are the default actions and the cues in our environment really impact those default actions. You see a cookie on the kitchen counter, you eat it. If it had not been, you would not have eaten it. Now I would not be able to talk about habits if I would not try to encourage you to develop the habit or recycling. You might think that doing just a little doesn't matter. But as discussed before, everything adds up over time and doing just a little really makes a difference. Everything you do repeatedly over time adds up to a result, and everything you don't do repeatedly over time adds up to another kind of result, which might or might not, be something that you want to have. Let's make a small imagination exercise. Think about the garbage sack you throw out every week. Now 4-5 of those are thrown out every month. 52 of them are being thrown out every year. 52 sacks. Think about it now. Now multiply that with your age and you understand roughly how much garbage you have produced in your lifetime. We are currently 7.7 billion people, and at this rate we'll have more garbage than nature around. Throwing raw materials into the garbage is going to make that pile of garbage bigger, and bigger, while recycling just a little, even a bottle of week, is going to make that pile of garbage smaller and smaller. and that is what you have to aim for. Make that garbage pile smaller. The reason why a lot of people don't recycle is because it's not the default option. But we have to change that because it's very easy to implement. And once you get going, it's very easy to maintain. First do research and find out where the collection centers are in your area and what kind of materials they want recycled. Is it glass? Is it paper? Is it plastic? In many European countries, there are paper recycling bins at every housing block, and very close by recycling bins for plastic, glass and metal. Depending on where you live, that might or might not be the case for you, but still, there are some state collection center somewhere. If there are no state collection centers, look for manufacturers who are willing to take their packaging back. That might be plastic bottles or tin cans or electrical devices. Now that you understand what you can recycle and where you can deliver it, set up your recycling bins at home. Once these bins are set up in your home, recycling is going to become a natural habit. I'm just going to present to you a couple of examples of recycling bins based on the problems that you might have to set them up at home . Perhaps you think they are expensive. Or perhaps you don't have enough space. Perhaps you don't want people to see that you have recycling bins at home. Or perhaps you do want people to see that you recycle. Any of these problems has a solution, and I'm here to show you how to solve it. Bins on a budget. You can take simple wooden boxes and paint them in various colors or not, as long as you know what box is for what trash is enough to create your first home recycling center. What if you happen to have a very small space? Maybe you live in a dense city. There are boxes that you can stack together like the photo on the left, or simply put all the bins underneath the kitchen sink or in a separate cabinet in the kitchen. You can also have them stacked together on top of each other if you place them on a narrow corridor. Hidden recycling. If you don't want to expose your recycling bins, you can make them part of the furniture by extending the kitchen island or by hiding them in the pantry. You can also hide them underneath a bench or a small cabinet and simply raise the upper flaps. If, on the other hand, you are looking for stylish recycling bins, you might want to use these ones. I personally use the one on left, and they're quite spacious. You can make recycling bins. a funny experience by using themed recycling bins like this lego shaped bins. 12. 11 Habit Support: Finally, there are a couple of ideas that I believe I worth stressing. If you follow these, you'll most likely get your goals. Number one. Focus on gaining a new habit at a time. Just because you can redesign your home to suit a habit doesn't mean you have to execute on all of them at once. Number two. Some habits have the natural power of attracting other habits with them. So you only have to focus on a couple of them. Let's take exercising. Exercising will help you sleep better, which will give you better focus, which will most likely result in better work the following they. Or let's take gratitude, which supports feelings of kindness and generosity, which probably supports better relationships with other people, which will most likely result in a better leadership style. Starts small and make the habit feel effortless. If it feels good, you'll keep going. Remember, it's the feeling that motivates us, not the rationale that is good for us that keeps us going. You streaks to keep going. Streaks are Xs in the calendar that mark the days in which you have executed on that habit. You could also use a habit tracker app or marble jars. Streaks create a change in your environment, and they keep you motivated. Mastering good habits is to fall in love with boredom. No matter how many things you discover, there's a new detail that you have overlooked. Number seven habits are the entry point, not the endpoint. Putting on the running shoes and getting out the door is more important than the exercise itself. Finally, number eight. People who have better habits are not those with the strongest willpower but they are people who are tempted the least. The best way to have more willpower is not to have situations in which you have to use it. 13. 12 Class Project : For the class project I'd like you guys to think about one habit that you personally want to work more on. Use the worksheet in the Project and Resources section and write down the answers of these three questions. Number one. How are you going to make your environmental cues more prevalent? Are you going to set up your gym gear the night before and put it by the bed? Are you going to set an area from your home dedicated to working on your personal project? Are you going to use a tracking up? What are you going to do? Number two. What is the smallest repeatable step you can do? Remember, you have to get into the habit. Not make big results right away. The results are going to take care of themselves as long as the habit continues. Number three. How are you going to bring joy into the habit? It's the feelings that motivate us to get into habits, not really the rationale behind it. So try to bring moments of happiness. when you exercise these habits. Perhaps you choose dancing instead of aerobics, because that's fun for you. Perhaps you choose to make that habit a moment of self-pampering. Like the topic of mindfulness we discussed undereating healthy. Anything that works for you, that brings you joy, that makes you happy, that contributes to a feeling of happiness and joyfulness and gratitude in that moment would be helpful in order for you to continue what that habit. I can't wait to see what you guys have shared in the project and resources section. 14. 13 Final Thoughts: Thank you for watching the class until the end. I hope you learned a few new things and are inspired to design or redesign your home in order to achieve some amazing habits. I enjoyed teaching this class a lot, and I can't wait to see what you have taken away from it. If you want to follow up on the photos I have shared during this class, you can follow me or Pinterest and look under the board with a class name. I'd love to know what other classes you would like me to teach. And you can do that by voting in the link under my profile. Hit the follow button if you want to hear about my next class and do connect with me on social media and always happy to hear from my students.