Do you have good intentions for positive growth habits and routines but they often get sidelined for the same old habits and patterns?
We’ve all been there. Inspiration strikes. You’ve watched that program, read that book, spoken to that person and you suddenly have vivid clarity of thought and renewed focus. “I am going to do this!” You might invest in something to help you and start a new daily practice with gusto. But then, you miss a day here and there, you don’t see the results as quickly as you had hoped, you start to doubt your decision or the process, and the event that inspired you in the first place starts to fade into the distant past. New habits are slowly taken back over by old habits that sit more within your comfort zone. Gah! It is so frustrating!
How does this play out in everyday life?
Over time, this cycle starts to erode your self-confidence. You start to doubt your judgement and your impulsivity becomes a stick you beat yourself with. You start to tell yourself the story that you ‘never stick to anything’ because you are ‘lazy, unfocused, lack discipline, are not as good as other people, will never change’, and basically that you are worth-less. This self-talk does little to fuel the motivation and positivity tank, so it further fuels the negative confidence cycle.
People struggle to introduce new practices and activities into their daily routines for a number of reasons. Feeling too busy, breaking old habits and a lack of support from people around us may all make introducing habits feel like an insurmountable challenge. Often the fear that we will fail can also hold us back or make us give up quickly. However, resistance to change is normal and failure is a natural part of this. With time and effort and an acceptance that it may not be perfect at first, daily practice can become a part of your life going forward.
Spend some time reflecting on why you want to implement these new habits and routines. What will they give you? How will you feel about yourself? Who will you be when you achieve this? What is the cost of not sticking to it? What will life look like? What new opportunities will open up? Using our imagination to visualise ourselves succeeding actually creates neural pathways in our brain that make achieving that thing more likely!
Set yourself up for success. Write a list of all the ways that you might get derailed or self-sabotage, and then, working through each item, design little strategies to maximise your chances of success. An example might be “I want to get up at 6am every day and go for a run. I am likely to not want to get up because I went to bed too late, it’s warm, I don’t have the energy to get all my stuff together and get dressed etc. So, I will be in bed by 9.30pm and set an alarm at 9pm to remind me with a motivational sentence on why this run is important. I will place my trainers, clothes, headphones and water beside my bed ready to throw on. I will set an alarm and place my phone in another room so I have to get out of bed to stop it. I will agree to meet a friend at 6.15am and we will run together etc”
When you have completed a new habit, consciously congratulate yourself and get the happy hormones flowing. Our brains are rewarded with hormones such as Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphins and Serotonin. Dance, give yourself a high five, practice gratitude, sing; whatever makes you feel good. #
Download the interactive worksheet below to help you make consistent changes in your life.