You were on track until you weren’t. You got off track. Here’s how to relaunch habits to reach your goals.
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We have all been there! Well, at least I know that I have been there. You are making changes to reach your (health, relationship, or professional) goals. You feel like you developed some productive habits and you are in a groove. Then, just like that, you get off track. I have been there SO MANY TIMES! I got some tips to help you get back that momentum with your habits and keep moving.
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“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”Source: James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
I have been able to keep up a morning routine for a year now! This routine includes the habit of physical activity everyday. I have learned how to keep these habits going even when I don’t feel like it, I get busy, or things happen.
Start back up however you can
It takes some time to build a habit! It can takes weeks or months. In contrast, it can fade away within a few days. We tend to make a big event about starting something new. For example, we pick the day we are going start. We make it a big deal. I learned that we don’t need all of those theatrics. Instead of getting stuck on your when and how of “relaunching” your habit, just start again. Just pick it up the next day and pretend that you didn’t get off track.
We can trick our minds into thinking that we didn’t get off track. Yes, it can be a bit tough if you need to build back your stamina physically in the gym. Be patient, you will be able to do it.
Cut yourself a break. Be really, really patient with yourself. It is not about everyday perfection. It is about just forward movement and momentum. Everyday give a little bit to yourself. Some days I feel on point with my morning routine. Other days I’m just showing up and that ok. Then there are days where I am like – c’mon you need to work a little harder. I don’t get upset with myself for just showing up since that is better than not doing anything at all. Additionally, it all adds up. There is a cumulative effect to putting in the time everyday.
Understand your own rhythm
I know that I have a certain rhythm throughout the month. As women, you might have certain weeks that you are feeling energized and weeks where you feel depleted. I adjust my expectations for myself depending on my energy. For instance, I hit harder at the gym and with my other habits when I am having those weeks where I feel pumped. Conversely, I nurture myself when I feel a little more on the low energy side. I just get through that phase knowing that I will feel better soon. I apply this same idea to the rhythm of the year.
Consider why you stopped in the first place
Maybe your routine needed to be changed. Perhaps your habit was a bit stale and in need of a change up. It could be that habit wasn’t the right one for you. You were going about it in a way that didn’t work for you. It didn’t fit into your lifestyle. So, change it up!
It could be that you needed to set up your environment in a certain way to support your habit. Reduce the friction. For example, I had to change where I put my gym clothes in the morning. I had to get everything ready the night before including my coffee and water. I needed remove the barriers. Make it easy to maintain the habit!
Journal & Reflect
This has really helped me stay on track. Journaling has helped me pay attention to my patterns and thoughts. It fuels my ability to maintain consistency. My thoughts and feeling can be the barriers to sticking with a habit. So, giving them a chance to be addressed and processed helps me continue to move forward. Reading and continue to develop myself makes my morning routine feel worthwhile. Also, journaling and reflecting keeps your routine from being just focused on physical activity.
Have a minimum habit standard for the week
What can you realistically do every week? That’s your minimum habit standard. If you know that you can engage in your habit at least three times a week, then that is your minimum standard. Whatever you do beyond that is a bonus! Keep in mind that most people are doing zero towards a habit. So, feel good when you achieve that minimum. Your minimum standard can fluctuate depending on what is going on. Making it flexible and fluid will help you ride the wave of life and stick to your habit.
Remember how lucky you are to be able to move your body
The pandemic taught us few things. One thing I learned is that being able to go the gym and get on a machine is a privilege! It can be taken away. There are no guarantees! So, instead of complaining about doing it, just do it. Remember how lucky you are to have a choice.
No one cares anyway
It is just you and whatever habit you are trying to develop. Don’t worry about what other people are saying or doing. Don’t get distracted by the noise.
Need more ideas? Check out “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It will give you some insights into how to establish and maintain a habit.
Alright, you are ready to get back on track! In a year a from now you will be like, “dang girl, I did it” and it will feel so good! So, let’s goooo!
Tell me your thoughts in the comments.