Written by Cloé Vaz-Wiggins
Image by @Tiwasavage
Start with WHY.
Why are you doing it? Why do you want to be healthier? Why do you want to develop and implement these habits into your lifestyle? The truth is, if you’re not clear on the why – I’m talking so clear, that motivation failing you is not even a factor – chances are, you won’t stay consistent. You’ll rely on motivation, willpower and the ‘right mood’ and without a doubt, at some point, they will all fail you. So, you start here, finding out what is your why. Are you developing these new habits and routines for your kids? Your family? Is it because you know you deserve the best and giving yourself the best is your top priority? Whatever your why is, get to it. Think about it, speak about it, journal about it, get really close to it and own it. Use that as the motivation and the willpower that will keep you going and most importantly, will keep you focused.
Get back to that why, when your mood fails you, when the circumstances change and especially when you fall off track.
Which leads us to this very important note: you will fall off track. No journey or progress happens in a straight line and that’s just a fact. You will have strides of sticking with it all and phases where you’re not, and they’re both ok, they’re both, normal. Don’t berate yourself, speak harshly or feel guilty about it. Embrace your journey, all of it, stay close to your why and don’t forget to come back to it so you can use it as fuel as inspiration to stay the course.
Having said that, you will need a plan. More specifically a time blocking/management plan that will allow you to create space for these new and better habits you’re implementing into your lifestyle. When I say plan, I mean, when are you going to have time and space to try them? Do you have time already or you need to create some? And most importantly, how will you enjoy them? What are the rituals you want to create? What are the things that will make you look forward to it? The main answer is your WHY, always, but finding small details that can make the process enjoyable and something you actually look forward to, is another great way to developing and sticking to these new habits. Maybe it’s the clothes you wear, the products you use, the vibe you create, the playlist you play, whatever it is for you, this is where you get creative, where you have fun and make it entirely your own.
Above all, consistency is key. We’ve all heard the numbers on how long it takes to form a new habit, and no matter what number you heard, the point is, it takes time. It takes sustained consistency and discipline. You have to stay on it, keep practising it over and over again until it becomes automatic and you no longer have to spend any energy considering how or when to do it. Hence the plan, finding that structure within your lifestyle will ensure you get to focus on the habit itself, instead of feeling pressured, lost or rushed with the when or the how.
Ok, last thought, don’t try to tackle everything at once. Staying consistent with one habit is not easy, so if you’re trying to focus on ten overnight, it might feel overwhelming. Start slowly, truly, consider how and where, would you succeed in staying consistent? Maybe for you that’s one habit at a time? Maybe that’s an area that you tackle at a time? It doesn’t matter, find what works for you. Always.