Is there anything standing in the way of you nailing a consistent fitness routine? What about that mediation practice you keep telling yourself you are going to start? Or perhaps following up on that promise to cook at home each night?
What is that I can hear? Is that an excuse (or two) I’m hearing you say?
So, so often we carry out routines that are not productive to our values and ideals. We have the know how but putting into practice is another thing. The answer lies in the billion dollar question…. How do we instigate that initial drive to begin the path towards a better habit? Just how do you kick-start that something in your life you’ve dreamed about?
After working with clients through many key areas with the goal of creating sustainable habits, the biggest downfall has been lack of consideration of the ‘future self’. When I say ‘future self’, I refer to the fact that we are so very much caught up in the immediate gratification way of thinking that if something doesn’t sound appealing now (a workout) then it isn’t done (even though you would feel a lot better after doing it).
Quite often if one area of your life improves then the other areas of your life you are lacking in will also pick up. Momentum takes over with motivation and the steamroll process begins. It’s kind of like facing the truth instead of hiding and taking responsibility for your actions that will improve your future self. Once you can nail yourself to start something that has been hanging over you, then everything else seems to free up.
“I’ll do it tomorrow” is a dangerous place for your mind to go. This is where the games start and instead of just going out and doing what you know deep down you should be doing, somehow the conscious mind takes over and rationalises what was a very simple decision. And the story goes on.. tomorrow it isn’t done etc etc.
Here are the 3 most common excuses I hear with strategies to overcome them.
How to Fool Proof Yourself Into Positive Habits
1. I don’t have the willpower to start
Seriously who says you need willpower? Just get over the paralysing decision-making and just do it!
Anything new challenges us – the crazy humans we are, love to do what comes naturally – which is unfortunately old habits.
While you are procrastinating from doing the task at hand ask yourself this question. “Is this allowing me to move towards my goals?” Chances are the answer will be no and this change in mindset can be enough to pull yourself up on. Make yourself accountable and ring and organise a friend to meet you or just text them what it is you’re doing. Then you can brag with a followup text on how well you went;)
2. I’ll do it tomorrow
Who really thinks it will be done tomorrow? Tomorrow brings its own set of challenges and once an opportunity is missed it is lost forever. Think of it this way, you could also do it again tomorrow? How powerful does that sound?
Write up a weekly planner and jot everything down you want to accomplish. More than likely each day will be full with different tasks and anything that spills over to the next day usually goes under the radar. Make the time and make the effort. Our minds are hardwired at telling us we are tired, and it doesn’t take much to believe this. Bottom line is effort is needed to create change.
3. I’m too busy
Hmm, yes.. from what? What is so important that it is continually taking you away from doing something you dream to be doing? Sounds a little ludicrous when it is worded like this doesn’t it? Perhaps a sit down and a overhaul of your priorities is in order. And don’t feel bad for giving yourself this time! Life isn’t a dress rehearsal for our next life that we plan to excel in, life is happening now…
Write down your goals and dreams. Chat to your loved ones or coach and try to strategise how they can be put into action. Do an audit of your current time and schedule and move or omit things that are not leading you to where you want to be.
Positive habits begin with an uncomfortable change. The more you can foresee what excuses may pop up from time to time the more you can be ready to overcome these with strategies. Mistakes from the past are lessons we should listen to on a daily basis. Once motivation levels begin to kick in from repeated behaviours the easier it will become! Start living your true self now.