I love yoga, exercise, getting up early, and all things wellness (not the process but the end result). However, making things a routine is so hard for me! How do you turn these practices into routines?
What a relevant question! We all fall in and out of routines and being healthy can sometimes feel like another thing to add to an already long list of “to-do’s”. What is especially great is that you already know you love the end result. That will always be the most motivating factor…think about how good you will feel when it has become a habit and call on that whenever you feel challenged. Get detailed with this part too. How will I feel? Will I have more energy? What will this habit formation enable me to do? Bust out a paper and pen and get specific!
Take stock before setting your goals…Where are you now? What are your pipe dreams? What is something that sounds doable and for how many days in a row? Can you commit to a daily workout? If not, can you commit to a daily walk? Maybe a daily lemon water upon waking?
You get to decide.
The next thing to consider is when you are truly at your best. Morning? Mid day? Evening? Chances are you already have a lot of healthy habits in the morning and right before bed. Teeth brushing, getting dressed or undressed, washing your face, taking a shower etc… When you already have a healthy habit that’s going strong…teeth brushing for example, piggy back another one on to it! I brush my teeth, then I go turn on the kettle for lemon water, then I sit to meditate. We all already have existing routines which means we all have the power to add on to those routines.
The hardest part of habit forming is what author and mental training specialist Jason Selk calls the “fight thru”. What does a fight thru feel like? It is a moment when you have the opportunity to execute the habit but you really….really…realllllly don’t want to. Selk says the first step is to acknowledge the “fight thru” - “oh! I’m in a fight thru right now!” The second step is to ask yourself two questions…How will I feel if I execute? How will I feel if I don’t execute? The third step is “life projection” think about your life in 5 or 10 years from now if you achieve the routine and if you don’t. Winning a fight thru is a big deal, if you can win a handful, you’re really on your way to the habit sticking.
Lastly, set yourself up for success! Hang out with people who have the same goals and talk about them. Ask for help and give people specific ways they can help you. Take note of when you win “fight thru’s” and take note when you lose them as well. Get organized, put a visual on your wall and don’t think too much more than the time it takes to read this blog post. Once you remove the decision making analysis, the action will come more naturally. The best way to learn is by doing. Be patient with yourself and keep chipping away - you’re probably closer to habit-dom than you think!