Make your new habits last

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Thousands of people suffer from going cold turkey when creating a new routine as soon as vacation is over. Why? Vacation is a time for relaxation and most likely that have lead to unproductiveness, skipping the gym, eating less healthy, not following what you usually do and now you want to feel good about yourself as fast as possible. Hence, you make an ambitious plan and jumpstart your “new life”.

I remember, laying there on the beach the last days of my vacation thinking about my kick-start after vacation. How everything was going to change, after lazy summer days with unhealthy food and less workouts. I knew it, I could get on my masterplan back to being that superhuman.

I had to lose the 3 kilos I had gained during the vacation and getting back into my workout routine with high intensity cardio workouts and calorie counting would make this possible. But something went wrong pretty fast…

It didn’t matter how good my plan was, how well I followed it in the beginning. Because after one or maximum two weeks I was sick and tired of salads and waking up at 6.30 to hit the gym five times a week. My will-power was empty, on 0, I had nothing more to give, I gave up and felt worthless again. Another failure, I told myself: “Look I can’t finish anything, I am lazy and have no strength”.  I felt so sorry for myself, disappointed and hopeless so I turned to my friend, but at the same time enemy – food, or more precisely sweets. Because then I could at least relax and escape the really unpleasant feeling, which I had no idea how to deal with.

In the same way, I also remember having very ambitious plans for creating a self-care routine – 15 minutes meditation every day, journaling every day, 40 minutes yoga and so on. As you can hear, a very ambitious plan. But just too much to make it work in reality.

But there are better ways, are you familiar with the pattern above? Thus, you probably know by know then that it most of the times doesn’t work.  that it doesn’t work most of the times, so why not make space for a new strategy?

Hit the brake instead of the gas and make it last

For some of us kick-starts are the only way to get us out of the sofa, it’s the way to actually stop the circle of a behaviour that doesn’t serve us. So these people who needs a kick in the butt, to get going. But there is nothing wrong with that. What makes the difference is the thoughts and feelings behind the kick-start action. In other words what motive, why and what’s lays behind. But also in how fast you go, get going but dont do it all at once – one-step-at-a-time!

A strong why and a clear picture makes it easier

First of all, before you get started. Set aside time for creating your why. Make it as visual as possible, describe how your life will be different when you reach your goal – how you will feel and draw the picture of what your life is going to look like then.

Which challenges can I expect?

Think through possible challenges that you will go through especially the first month, which is the most critical time for creating a new habit. Additionally, add a way to deal with each one of the challenges. For example if you know you will be travelling in your work, your situation might change a bit during that time, how can you still make sure you keep up with your new habits?

See the opportunities

Write down what is going to help you practically, in other words, what will make it easier for you to create that new habit, reach that goal? For example, if you want to go to bed earlier, you got to prepare yourself earlier for bed. Perhaps you can create a bedtime routine that you repeat every single day to remind and prepare yourself for bed.

Follow up – stay present and on track

Something that’s very common t forget, because we are so “busy” is to follow up and see where we are in relationship to our goal. This can also be an indication that we are about to fall of the wagon. Because if we avoid stopping and looking into where we are, we dont have to face potential failures. So before you get to that point, STOP and evaluate your current situation in order to move forward accordingly.

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