It takes about 21 days to create a habit and the hardest thing about creating new habits, is starting. I struggled for years with my weight, I have lost 15 pounds about 4 different times in the span of 16 years before I was finally successful in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. I know today that the key to conquer anything is through your mind, so if you want to lose weight, stop smoking, change careers or really anything at all, I realized the details are not as important as the big picture.
1. Habits are energy savers. When you do things like getting dressed in the morning and brushing your teeth you don't contemplate or overthink whether to do them or not, you just do. You are used to doing them everyday on a consistent basis probably since you can remember yourself. I want you to consider that it is a learned behavior and that you can learn and introduce new habits to your life if you just put your mind into it. The more habits or rituals you have, less energy you spend on thinking, planning, and battling your brain to do those things you don't feel like doing but know they are good for you and the more energy you'll have for other things.
2. Easy to say, hard to do? The idea is simple but not easy though 100% possible. No one said it was going to be easy, with that, I believe it is harder to live in a body you don't like, staying in a relationship or a job you're not happy in or have a bad habit that controls you. So my suggestion is to drop the cop-out predictable it's easier said then done excuse and just accept that this will be challenging and focus on what's waiting for you on the other side.
3. Small habits are as important as big ones. Now, small or big habits are very subjective but when I say small habits I mean ones that we may think aren't that important in moving us towards our goal. They are. For example - making your bed, doing laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, meal planning, calendar scheduling and more.. these are all habits we should look for consistency in not only because they will save you energy and organize yourself in the time you have but also because they are really good practice in introducing bigger and more meaningful habits into your routine.
4. Consistency not Intensity. When you start introducing new habits, make sure they are small, short, and manageable. Don't go zero to a hundred in a day, that's a recipe for giving up. Think about it this way, it is easier to commit to an "easy" task like reading 5 pages a day than to reading a book. It is more important you work on building the habit first before going full power. Commit to walking 10 minutes a day every day rather than spending 2 hours in the gym on day one. When you get the habit down it will be easier to increase intensity and stay motivated, and motivation only comes with doing.
5. Goals. goals are good checkpoints to make sure you are on track but they are not the purpose. The reason I struggled with weight loss (me and everyone else) was because I was attached to the goal and timeline I set myself and paid less attention to the process and purpose of what I was doing. We tend to give up when we skip a day or it gets harder to maintain some unrealistic change in lifestyle.
My suggestion is to drop the fad diets, calorie counting, day counting, new year resolutions and focus on being that person you you envision yourself to be - change your perception of the goal from losing weight to living healthy, from writing a book to being a writer, from running a marathon to being a runner.
6. So where do I start?
First, start by introducing small habits to your routine and make sure you are consistent. If you miss a day, don't let that discourage you. Remember, tomorrow is a new day when you get to choose all over again.
Use a calendar and start scheduling and committing to yourself and others, that will help in holding yourself accountable.
Most important, when that little voice in your head starts telling you it's to hard, to boring, to early or cold, practice being present to that voice and talk back to it (yes talk to yourself) and remind it who's the boss.
You got this!