Habits are something we do every day whether you realize it or not. Our lives are run by habits. Just think about your morning routine.
Maybe you start by going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth, and start prepping for the day. Maybe you have a meditation practice next, you make coffee & grab breakfast as you run out the door.
Then you have a certain drive to work every morning, routine people you talk to at work. Then you stop by the gym on your way, you eat at a certain time, and watch tv to finish your day. That is an example of many ingrained habits we do on a daily basis.
Breaking a habit can hurt! Think about your evening tv habit (something I’m working on myself) I enjoy watching an hour of tv at night to zone out and do nothing. Really I’m not doing nothing, I’m also on my phone, have my computer out sending emails all while “watching” tv.
Trying to break that habit can be painful the first few days. It’s deeply ingrained in me. I started that habit when I lived alone. It was nice to have something on so I didn’t have to hear the silence of my apartment at the time.
Now it’s changed greatly as my husband works at night so it’s my chance to watch whatever show I want without complaining and my son is asleep so I can just relax. Really that habit is not serving me. It’s stopping me from reading at night, taking a bath & relaxing some nights, sometimes I stay up to late & miss my morning meditation practice or morning 20 minutes of movement. I have to ask myself is this habit really worth it?
Plus as my son is getting older it stops me from working presently on my business. This is the time for me to squeeze out a few more uninterrupted hours of work so I’m not scattered and working when my son is awake.
I can be truly present with him.
Here are some things on how I’m breaking the old tv habit. I give myself 1 night a week that I can watch a tv show. Right now it's the Golden Girls.
I also enjoy a 10pm bedtime so now when I've watched a few episodes it's time to start prepping for bed.
Habit switch- Instead of watching tv all night, I will watch 2 episodes of the Golden Girls (40 minutes with no commercials) and can have time to read my book and even journal before bed.
That is one example of breaking a bad habit. Let’s work on how to stick with a habit.
You used to go to the gym after work. Right now you're working out at home due to the virus but you're struggling with being consistent.
You planned to workout on Monday morning but life happened and you missed your 45 minute window and instead of doing 20 minutes you skip it all together. Since you missed a Monday workout you decide you will try again next week.
Next week comes & goes and it is already out of your routine & that habit seems to be lost. Is it actually though or was it ever a habit at all?
If you notice this with any goal you have it might not be as habitual as you thought it was. I do this with my meditation practice all the time. I go one day and practice then didn’t feel like it, or my son got up earlier then usual and I skip it that day. I really don’t think it’s as habitual as I thought it was. I still have to make myself do it each day. I know when I haven’t I get more out of sorts and scattered.
I know the benefits I just have to get better the next day. That is the same with skipping a workout. Think of the benefits or results you want to achieve and focus on that to get you back in the habit of getting in your workout.
Next time you only have 20 minutes for a workout you workout. Instead of seeing it needing to be a perfect 45 minute workout without interruptions and you're a mom of 3 and know that won't happen shift.
Save a list of YouTube workouts you love or make a Pinterest board of workouts in all sorts of lengths and types of workouts. That way you will have a back-up plan in case yours doesn't go the way you were hoping.
Now that we are working on our consistency let's create a brand new habit.
The last habit trigger is developing a brand new habit one you’ve wanted to achieve but haven’t quite got there yet.
Let’s frame this habit around nutrition. August is going to be the month you start to eat better. First you have to define what "eat better" means. I personally am not a diet fan and if you aren't either you just want to eat clean. Define what eat clean means to you.
After you have laser focused your goal such as I will eat early, lighter dinners by 6pm consisting of soups or salads 5-6 days a week. That is focused and measurable.
When making your goal make sure you don’t set it for something you know you cannot achieve. If weekends are still going to be too tough for you, reframe that goal.
If you know you have a meeting or two and don’t get home to eat dinner by 6pm how can you eat earlier at work or adjust your goal. Track it. I love to use calendars or tracking tools to help assist with goals. I have sticker sheets leftover from when I was a teacher that I’ve been using this year to track my goals. I do love them and I can see which goal is giving me a tough time (no snacking) and I can evaluate why and see if that is a goal I truly want to achieve or am I doing it just because.
If your why is not deep enough at this time the goal might be something you will feel good about doing later. Maybe later this year, or even a few years from now. I was introduced to Ayurvedic habits a 5 years ago and I couldn’t make them stick. Fast forward 5 years and now am loving them and it is making my life easier when I follow them. Sometimes just the introduction to something is all you need to succeed with that habit later on in your life.
What habit are you wanting to form around your health? Why hasn't it worked in the past? Have you lacked accountability? Have you lacked direction? Make sure you find the support you need. I'm both an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor and an online Personal Trainer. I'm here for support if you need it. Want to get to know me a bit first? You can find me on Instagram as well.