Is there anything standing in the way of you nailing a consistent fitness routine? What about that meditation practice you keep telling yourself you are going to start? Or perhaps following up on that promise to cook at home each night?
So often we carry out routines that are not productive to our values and ideals. Sure, we have the know-how, but putting this into something that’s actionable is another thing. How do we create the catalyst to help kick-start that something you’ve always dreamed about achieving in life or instigate that initial drive to begin the path towards a better habit?
After working with clients through many key areas with the goal of creating sustainable habits, a repeating obstacle is the lack of consideration for 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).
3 Ways to Foolproof Your Positive Habits
Often, it’s not enough to know if one area of your life improves then the other areas will also pick up. It’s hard to gain momentum initially, (a certain amount of robustness is necessary), but once we begin seeing tiny results it’s easier to keep the train on the tracks. Taking responsibility for your actions and decisions is the first step towards improving your future self. Once you can nail yourself to start something that has been hanging over you, then it’s common to see energy levels increase.
“I’ll do it tomorrow” is a dangerous place for your mind to go. This is where the mind games start and instead of simply doing what you know you should be doing, somehow the conscious mind takes over and complicates what was a very simple decision. And so, the pattern repeats itself, day in day out.
Here are the 3 most common excuses I hear with strategies to overcome them.
- “I don’t have the willpower”
Seriously who says you need willpower? Just get over the paralysing decision-making and get on with it! We all have limited willpower stores but it’s those that know how to manage themselves that prevail.
Anything new challenges us – the crazy humans we are, love to do what comes repetitively – which unfortunately is what we sometimes don’t know!
While you are procrastinating from going about a task ask yourself this question. “Is this allowing me to move towards my goals?” Chances are the answer will be no and this awareness should be enough to pull yourself up on. Bring something to the table that helps you become accountable – ring and organise a friend to meet you for a walk, or send a text telling them what you are up to. Then you can brag with a follow-up text on how well you went.
- I’ll do it tomorrow
Who really believes themselves when they say this? Tomorrow brings its own set of challenges and once an opportunity and lost forever. Think of it this way, you could also do it again tomorrow? How powerful does that sound?
Write a weekly planner and jot everything down you want to accomplish. More than likely each day is full of different tasks but try your hardest not to allow anything that helps you achieve your goals to go by the wayside. Create 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 the most important ingredient to create change.
- I’m too busy
Hmm, yes… from what? What is so important that it continually takes you away from doing something you dreamed you would do? Perhaps an 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 around us now.
Write down your goals and dreams. Chat to your loved ones or coach and strategise how to put them 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 foresee what excuses may pop up from time to time the more you are ready to overcome these with strategies. Mistakes from the past are lessons we should listen to daily. Once motivation levels begin to kick in from repeated behaviours the easier it will become! Start living your true self now.