The biggest reason people fail at creating and sticking to new habits is that they don’t keep doing it. (Well, that makes obvious sense doesn’t it?)
For 2014, I think this is a year to really change things up and shake things up. We NEED to create some new soul-serving habits and discard all old habits don’t serve our greater good. For most, the hardest thing to do is to keep these New Year resolutions and goals and hopefully new habits that serve us well. It’s difficult for the majority of us to stick to a new regimen and develop new routines that allow us to improve our lives.
I’ve got some ideas that might just help you create a new blueprint of YOU. One that incorporates some healthy, inspiring ideas into our daily lives and routines and will only IMPROVE what we get back from our life. Honestly, this can’t hurt to try…..
Habits: If you don’t keep doing a habit, it won’t really become a habit. So what’s the solution to this obvious problem? You must find a way to keep doing it.
When you look at it this way, the key to forming a habit is not how much you do of the habit each day (exercise for 30 minutes, make green smoothies every morning, cut out all wheat products for 30 days, write 1,000 words towards your book, etc.), BUT WHETHER YOU DO IT AT ALL. So the key is just getting started.
Let me emphasize that: the key to forming a habit is starting each day.
What do I mean by starting? If you want to form the habit of meditation, just get your butt on the cushion each day. If you want to form the habit of running, just lace up your shoes and get out the door. If you want to form the habit of writing, just sit down, close everything else on your computer, and start typing. If you want to form a habit of eating well, get the good stuff into the fridge and start the BEGINNING of your day with healthy green smoothies every day.
Form the habit of starting — easier said than done, right? What happens when you wake up and don’t feel like doing yoga or your beach body exercise DVD?
Let’s first take a look at why you don’t feel like starting. It’s usually for one or both of these reasons:
1. You are comfortable with what you’re doing (reading online, probably), and the habit is less comfortable (it’s too hard). We cling to the comfortable.
2. It’s too difficult to get started — to do the habit, you have to get a bunch of equipment out of your garage, or drive 20 minutes to the gym, or go buy a bunch of ingredients, etc.
Those are the main two reasons, and really they’re the same thing.
So the solution is to make it easier and more comfortable to do the habit, and easier to get started. Some ways to do that:
Focus on the smallest thing — just getting started. You don’t have to do even 5 minutes — just start. That’s so easy it’s hard to say no.
Prepare everything you need to get started earlier. So if you need some equipment, get it ready well before you have to start, like the evening before, or in the morning if you have to do it in the afternoon, or at least an hour before. Then when it’s time to start, there is no barrier.
Make the habit something you can do where you are, instead of having to drive there.
You could even tell people you’re going to do this habit every day for 30 days. Having this kind of accountability motivates you to get started, and makes it less comfortable NOT to start. NOTE: You also might want to tell the people that you know for certain will cheer you on, it’s not always the best idea to share your 30 day habit-forming mission with the negative types that don’t want you to leave their ‘circle’.
Start with the easiest version of the habit, so that it’s easy to start. For example, if you want to form the habit of eating better, find an easy cookbook or blog that connects to YOU. Take the time out to find that perfect recipe and lovingly shop for the ingredients . If you want to start yoga, don’t start with a really challenging routine, but an easy series of sun salutations, even if it’s for 10 minutes, its better than not doing anything and staying in bed 10 minutes longer.
Make it as easy as possible to start, and hard to not start. Tell yourself that all you have to do is lace up your shoes and get out the door, and you’ll have a hard time saying no. Make a pitcher of green smoothies (this might take you 10 minutes) and that will last you all day (NOTE: THIS IS VERY HABIT FORMING). Once you’ve started, you’ll feel good and probably want to continue (though that’s not a necessity).
BE EXCITED!! The start is a sunrise: a moment of brilliance that signals something joyful has arrived. Learn to love that moment of brilliance.
Are YOU living your life yet?
Great post Kelly!
I feel like I sometimes try and take on too much – think of too many new good habits to form (or bad old ones to break), I fully plan on taking the simple route this year.
Happy New Year!