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The life-saving habit Australia needs you to develop

Anyone will tell you that it’s hard to form good habits. Turns out, this is even true of feel-good habits. The vast majority of blood donors have an amazing first experience: they get that warm fuzzy feeling from giving life, and are surprised at how quickly it goes (the actual “donating” bit only takes five to seven minutes).

So, why do 40 per cent of new blood donors only visit us once?

After collecting blood in Australia for more than 90 years, we’ve had some time to identify a few of the barriers that keep these one-timers from becoming life-timers. We’ve also seen the countless ways regular donors can change lives across Australia. Trust us, this is a habit worth forming. Here are a few simple ways to make giving life a regular part of life.

Start small

The key to changing any big behaviour is breaking it down into manageable, tiny tasks – like taking five minutes to register as a blood donor.

Now we can tell you when we need you most, and you’ve started your journey to blood donor status. Keep ticking off those tasks one by one, and soon you’ll be comparing milestone pins with other donors and debating which the post-donation refreshment is best. (We’d say another tiny task is picking between party pies or sausage rolls, but according to most donors, this is anything but a small decision.)

Commit

The next time you’re near one of our donor centres, your next tiny task is stopping in to book your donation. You can even do it from your phone: download our app, check your local centre for available times, and set yourself up to become a life-giver.

Rally support

One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable is to donate with a mate. If you can swing it, tag along with a regular donor who can keep the conversation flowing along with your donation. Or, find someone else who’s never donated before and challenge them to take the plunge with you.  

Celebrate your wins

You’ve done it! You’ve successfully donated blood, you’ve got that life-giving glow, and the hardest part was picking between the party pie and sausage roll. Now’s a great time to post on social, telling your friends and family what you’ve achieved and how easy it was. You might just give a friend the push they needed to book their own donation.

Make it a part of your life

Now you’ve donated once, the best way to keep the donation habit going is to associate it with a particular activity or outing that you do at least once a quarter. Donate before dinner with an old workmate, or make it your regular catch-up with a family member. When you tie donating to another happy and regular habit in your life, you’re more likely to keep coming back, and we can keep celebrating you for the legend you are.