Its easy to set goals and say that you are ready to turn over "a new leaf". But how do you ensure that you actually do what's necessary to turn that leaf over? I can't tell you how many times I've done a 30 Day Squat Challenge, or 30 Days to Clean Eating, and failed miserably right around around day 11. We all start out with good intentions and high hopes, but those of us who get sidetracked only see the leaf turned over half way.
The key to completing any new lifestyle change is REPETITION. During all of those 30 Day Challenges I did in the past, I realized that I gave myself too much wiggle room. I allowed myself to think I could indulge in the excuse of being too tired or too busy. But even a 5 minute break to refocus and reevaluate what I was actually avoiding would have done a world of good. You see, repetition in our actions creates habit. And scientists says that on average it takes about 30 days to create a new habit. We usually look at our habits as something negative, and we avoid the possibility of forming new ones. But habits can be positive life changes as well. Cutting yourself off from thinking that you can easily bounce back into your routine is key to accomplishing things within a specific timeframe.
My suggestion for staying on track? Become a creature of habit. It's human nature to believe that we have more power than we think we do. We tend to become arrogant in our abilities, and discount the presence of outside forces that prevent us from reaching our potential. Our quest for working out may be affected by a barrage of text messages from people who DON'T work out, or perhaps you are attempting to work out during the same time as your favorite show, or maybe the environment in which you attempt to work out is just too distracting. Make a concerted effort to create the perfect space for your task, and perform that task at the same time every single day. Without the constraints of time, the brain is likely to forget or fall into focusing on another task that's normally performed during that time. I found that forcing myself to write every single night before bed creates a natural rhythm for me. If by chance I attempt to sleep without my daily writing routine I become restless and antsy. It wasn't until I endured a couple of sleepless nights that I realized that it was because I was breaking a routine.
So how do we start this path of repetition? Break down your goals into smaller tasks. Put the most difficult tasks at the forefront to be tackled first. You'll find that accomplishing those tasks first will boost your confidence and free up your time that you previously spent worrying about what was lacking. If needed, write the tasks down in several places so that you are constantly reminded of the battle to establish a natural routine. Writing them down the traditional way with paper and a pen will also force your brain to remember it. At the end of your 30 Days you will find that what first started out as a desired task has now turned into a natural way of life.
Where will you start with achieving your goals naturally? If you haven't yet established a way to accomplish the goals we set at the beginning of the challenge, try and restart by breaking down those goals and writing them down into actionable tasks to be performed every single day.
What goal are you struggling with? What have you done so far to make that goal come to life?