“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
I’ve had trouble in the past with keeping my momentum flowing forward and getting new habits to stick.
I’m sure you can relate..
It took me several years, after trying the first time, to stop drinking my face off every night. I wanted to quit but I didn’t tell anyone because if, (I mean WHEN), I failed, no one would know.
I didn’t have any way to be held accountable, and no one was disappointed in me, except myself.
Forming New Habits
Trying to get into a new habit is hard. I’ve heard it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit, but, depending on the degree of difficulty, it could take much longer.
Now, when I want to break a bad habit, or make a lifestyle change, I tell other people about it. This creates accountability and makes me feel like I don’t want to let them down, so I try harder.
Telling other people also creates a support system of people who can keep encouraging me when the going gets tough!
I’ve noticed people like to be involved in other people’s affairs and they can be quite supportive when they know their opinions have value.
I try to begin new habits with a shift in mindset. I tell myself I’m the kind of person that does _____, and not _____. For example; I tell myself that I’m the kind of person that faces challenges head on rather than the kind that procrastinates and hides.
Then I start actually practicing the new habit. It helps me to start from the inside and work my way out.
Keep up the Momentum
Once I get a good momentum going I try not to give in to anything that drains my energy or drags me down. If that happens, I try to recharge with conditions that put me in a good mood. I must be persistent.
I increase the activities that move me forward, and decrease the activities that hold me back.
I take a stance of action rather than procrastination.
I can make to-do lists all day long, but until I take action, they are just words on paper.
Build a new identity
- Say “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” – If you want to be more active and lose weight, try saying, “I don’t lay around, I do stuff.” Instead of, “I can’t lay around, I need to do stuff.”
- Create a plan and have substitutions ready – If you know you’re going out somewhere that healthy food is not an option, pack your own snacks. Bring your own food to work instead of hitting up that vending machine.
- Find Balance – If you’re trying to get in better shape and you decide to run 3 miles every day, maybe start out with something easier and build towards that goal. And don’t sweat it if you occasionally indulge in a sweet treat.
- Get some sleep – While you are unwinding after your day, spend time focusing on how you did and what you can improve on. And give yourself props on a job well done. De-clutter your mind so you can get a good nights sleep. If you can improve even just a little each day, the effects will multiply exponentially!
It takes practice, but changing bad habits into productive ones, and then keeping that momentum going is possible with the right mindset and attitude.
In order for me to be the best I can be, a healthy body and a healthy mind are the two most important things I need to obtain. Yoga gives me both of those and when I practice, my day runs a lot smoother. Combined with meditation and deep breathing exercises, I leave the house feeling unstoppable!
Remember, invest in yourself!
Why put off til tomorrow what you can do today?
Chin up, smile, look yourself in the mirror and say, “It’s going to be a great day!”
Stay positive, you can do it!