The hardest thing for most people when it comes to creating a new habit is sticking to it long enough for it to become ingrained.
Here is some advice to help you continue staying motivated through the speedbumps and hiccups along the way. Part of this involves showing you ways to channel self-respect and understanding that the result is worth some discomfort along the way.
I will share effective and simple strategies that will help ensure that your habit will stick. It won’t be easy, but it’s definitely doable.
Focus On Starting
When it comes to making a change in any element of your life, the only part you need to focus on in the beginning is STARTING.
Later on, you’ll be strong enough to run a marathon. Today, you’ll start by walking around the block.
It’s okay if all the effort you have today is to lace up your sneakers and walk up and down the stairs, as long as you make the first move to get started. You’re that much closer to accomplishing something great.
If your goal is to overhaul your diet, research healthy recipes. If you’re working on writing a novel, take your starting step by opening up a text document and typing one sentence.
Create a shortlist of ways that you can ‘start’ your goal when you’re feeling unmotivated. In other words, come up with a few tasks that feel simple enough that you don’t have an excuse to skip out on.
Don't Dread The Habit
I know from experience that trying to stick to things you don’t enjoy doing is a recipe for disaster.
While we all have things to do that we’d rather not do, it’s essential to get positive feedback from doing the activity, so that we’re motivated to continue.
If you’re setting yourself up for a habit you hate, you’re building in negative feedback, which makes it harder to stick to. So either choose a habit that you can find enjoyment from or find another habit!
For example, going to the gym. So many people equate a gym membership as the only way to get in shape, but that’s simply not true! There are dozens of ways to get in shape, and most likely several that you would enjoy. If you’re not feeling like running on the treadmill, try a yoga class, pilates, taking a bike ride, or joining a local sports league. The options are endless!
List out some elements that you enjoy about the habit you’re trying to stick to.
Be Aware Of Your Thoughts
If you’re starting to avoid your new habit, dreading it, or feel like quitting, pay attention to these feelings. Try to analyze where the thoughts are coming from and how you’re rationalizing them.
Are you engaging in negative self-talk? Are you coming up with excuses?
If so, these are just defense mechanisms that your brain uses to cope with discomfort.
Don’t let these thoughts have power over you! Push back against them with some positive self-talk.
Write a list of reasons that you decided to make this change. Start your list by thinking about WHY you wanted to start this change in the first place. You’ll be able to use this list, later on, to refer to and use as a reminder when you’re feeling unmotivated.