Forming a Habit – 7 Key Ingredients
Time to get back on the ‘horse”. Due to a back niggle for the last month I’ve had to forgo my morning jog. Those in the know say it takes 21 days to form a new habit and as well, to break one. Well, its been 4 weeks (not 3) with the new habit of not jogging every morning starting to take hold. As I dust off my sneakers I know today is the day. So, how do I motivate myself?
Key ingredients which will get me back into the swing of exercise –
- First things first. Make the decision to change. When we put things off or postpone our energy lags. With no threat the old habit (we want to break) settles in, strengthening resistance. Once we make up our minds, energy to do it will follow. The mind directs energy. Your decision tells it where to go.
- Keep it manageable. Me, deciding I am only going to jog for 20 minutes is something I can do. Deciding I want to run full tilt for an hour is out of my league. As well, not my desire. Small steps take you to the top of the mountain. Be realistic.
- Commit. As mention earlier it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. 3 weeks is not a long time in the grand scheme of things. It is through repetition new habits form. Eventually they will drop into the subconscious where we no longer have to think about it – we just do it. It has become routine. Much like brushing your teeth.
- Do some inner work. Imagine how good you will feel to have this new habit safely formed. For myself, I look forward to slipping out the door every morning, waking up as I jog. Not only am I boosting my metabolism but great ideas drop down. Ask yourself – What will this new habit give me? What will it take away?
- What’s the investment? Really, how much time are you investing in positive change? As opposed to how much time wasted berating yourself? Not doing what you know you want to or need to? Use time well. Especially when your choices affect how you feel about yourself.
- Make it easy. I put my running clothes at the foot of my bed. First thing I am in them and out the door. The very first thing. I know myself. If I had to drive to a gym to use the treadmill. I probably would come up with a thousand excuses……
- Reward yourself. It’s important to reinforce positive action. As it helps us keep awareness. We all know how easy it is to forget what we are trying to change. Like having that extra cookie… I really favour the kid’s thing of putting a star on my calendar each time I jog. Why? Not only does it reinforce the good feeling of “Yes! I am doing it!!” But as well, provides incentive to keep it up as I don’t want to break my run of stars.
I did go for my jog. I did enjoy the abundance of nature. Did receive some interesting insights for further blogs https://www.cindyhurn.com/news/ and future radio shows https://www.cindyhurn.com/services/the-cindy-hurn-show/ . But most importantly? My mind is made up and it feels so good to be ‘back on that horse’. Ultimately, Personal Well-Being is up to ourselves. Our attitudes, choices, decisions and follow through. The good news is the more we commit to taking action the sooner positive change becomes a habit.