Maintaining habits and resolutions

So we’ve reflected (, we’ve made a list of things we’re leaving behind (. We’ve even started making a plan (link to article when live). Now the real work begins!

As the magical feeling of fresh starts that the new year and new decade brings start to fade and we settle into a new month, it’s easy to feel slightly unmotivated again. It’s even easier to fall back into old habits and behaviours! This is the hardest part. How do we stay inspired, motivated, and excited to live our best lives when we’re bogged down with the day to day grind? 

I think if we truly want to make 2020 be our best year yet, we’ve got to be willing to put in the hard work. It’s hard to break patterns and habits especially if we’re so used to them that they start feeling like second nature to us, but we need to do it if we want things to improve. Self-improvement isn’t all roses and rainbows. Sometimes it looks like getting up an hour early to exercise, it’s spending a few hours preparing meals in the weekend when you’d rather be taking a nap, it’s not texting your ex back at 2 am because you start missing the feeling of companionship (hey, we’ve all been there. Stay strong sis!). 

I read somewhere that it takes 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic. It’s comforting to know that change doesn’t happen overnight. We can’t expect to just miraculously adapt a new habit when we wake up in the morning. I think that’s why it’s so important to stick to the new behaviour or routine no matter what. Here are some tips and tricks that help me:

Take it day by day – Just do the thing for the day. Then the next day. Then the next and so on… For example, if your goal is to be more tidy, try making your bed in the morning first thing when you wake up. Don’t think too far ahead into the future. Just try to it today then do it again tomorrow. 

Start small – if your goal is to be a professional athlete, you gotta start small and work towards the goal. Start by playing in your local team. Breaking down your goals into steps will not only help keep you inspired to maintain your habits, it will also make any task less overwhelming. Ever had a day where your to-do list was so long and you had no idea where to start? And the thought of doing it all was literally too much to handle, so you end up just staying home watching Netflix and not crossing anything off the list for the day which in turn makes you feel guilty and anxious for not doing it? Try breaking it down into small chunks. 

Prioritise – That said, this year for me is about learning how to prioritise so I’m not taking on too much. I try and pick 3 most important tasks for the day and focus on that. If I tick that off and there’s still time, I move on to the rest of the list. Repeat as necessary. 

But my favourite way of staying motivated? Visualising it all as if it were already happening. Nothing motivates me more than seeing my vision come to life in my head. It’s a powerful exercise to do before going to bed, putting it in your subconscious. That feeling of already having what you want. You’ll be raring to make it happen in no time!

Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself when you fall back into old patterns. Tomorrow is a clean slate. Take it day by day!