Have you had the realization that you need to change some things to create (or maintain) your post-quarantine healthy lifestyle? If so, you need these 5 keys to become a habit-change rockstar.
The time from Spring Break until now has been a blur for me. I haven't been to the office since mid-March. I've been fortunate to be able to work from home, while my family was also here - doing school and work. There was certainly an adjustment period through all of this and I noticed my energy fluctuations much more than I used to. I also found that I was able to do a few things that I just didn't before (daily yoga practice before work, keeping up on housework during the day, working out without the hassle of having to drive to the gym).
I also started to discover habits that needed to be updated and habits that needed to be created to maintain a healthy balance while at home. Have you ever tried to refresh your habits or start a new one? It takes some self-awareness and intention to make the new habit become routine.
Here I share FIVE keys to habit change so you can rock your healthy lifestyle...
KEY 1: Find your WHY
Your mindset makes a HUGE difference in keeping you moving towards your goals and changing your habits.
One major step to creating the proper mindset is to find your WHY. Why do you want to change that habit? What personal benefit will you gain from it? This WHY is what you can come back to when you're not in the mood or get too busy (or whatever might keep you from feeling motivated). Keep in mind the closer your WHY hits your heart, the more motivating it will be. Need a little help? Here are some examples:
You want to lose weight so you have more energy to play with your kids or grandkids
You want to clean up your diet (less sugar and processed foods) so you can get off/reduce medication
You want to learn mindfulness or meditation so you can be more present with your family or in your projects
"When you find your why, you find a way to make it happen." ~ Eric Thomas
KEY 2: Set reasonable expectations
Nothing can kill your excitement towards a habit change like missing a target. You made all the best plans, had all the best intentions...but life got in the way. It happens...and it's ok. Give yourself some grace, learn from your mistakes, and pick yourself back up.
You can also set yourself up for success to minimize that feeling of letting yourself down. When you are formulating your plan, keep the steps smaller and think through what you can feasibly do in a time period.
Here's an example: When I'm planning the housework, chores, etc that I'd like to do for the weekend, I always tend to make a list of all the things I want done...but when I step back and think through how long each chore takes, I've planned more work than I can realistically get done in the weekend. If I don't adjust, I'll end the weekend with a list half done and feel less accomplished.
You don't want to feel less-accomplished when you are working through habit change...you want to feel like you are a habit-change rockstar! So, keep the steps/expectations small and reasonable.
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ~ Albert Einstein
KEY 3: Start taking action
It's time to get out of "analysis paralysis" - with all your plans, ideas, and "shoulds" informing what you COULD do. Instead, find that small action to get the ball rolling. This helps you push through the first few minutes of resistance and create momentum that you can carry you forward. Remember, action comes before motivation (meaning, you often have to get started before you really feel like doing the thing). Here are a few examples of how this might look, depending on your habit:
Try counting backward from 5...4...3...2...1 then spring into action. Have you heard of Mel Robbins? In her books she says, "The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will stop you. 5...4...3...2...1, GO!" ~ The 5-second Rule
Try the activity for just 5 minutes...chances are, once you get started you will continue
Break your habit into small chunks that require less effort (like drinking a gallon of water a day...don't focus on the gallon, but on the one glass you need to drink right now).
"If you spend time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done." ~ Bruce Lee
KEY 4: Find the power of outside motivation
Once you've kick-started your motivation with some action, find ways to keep yourself motivated and inspired by learning more about your habit, your health, anything. Think like a beginner and expose yourself to new information to infuse your habit change process. Try books, articles, podcasts, documentaries, etc. Reading or hearing from others with fresh information can help you keep the energy around your habit change. Even spending 5 minutes a day reading or listening to something that inspires you can help.
If you're wanting to workout more, find resources who share workouts that you like to do (I follow TRX workouts and yoga teachers who resonate with me)
If you're wanting to eat cleaner, find resources who talk about clean food in a way that resonates with you. Do you like the scientific aspect, or are you curious about the environmental impact, or maybe you prefer a variety of recipes? Do a keyword search and see what comes up. (I follow The Whole 30 on Instagram and love seeing the recipe inspirations and updates)
"Be willing to be a beginner every single morning." ~ Ekhart Tolle
KEY 5: Focus on the process, not the outcome
At this point, you've got your WHY, your outside motivation, your realistic expectations, and your ways to start taking action. So now for Key 5...focus on the process, not the outcome. Of course, we all want to be at the point where we've reached our goals - weight loss, strength, energy, you name it. But we can't focus our daily energy at the end.
It is super-useful to know where you are headed (and even to visualize yourself there), but we find success when we focus on where we are at the present moment and take the next step. When we can consistently take that step, then we add another. It is through this consistency that we start making progress towards, and eventually reach, our goals. It is also through this consistency that you build confidence in yourself and start feeling like a habit-change rockstar, which helps carry you forward (remember, action creates motivation).
Here you take a look at your goal and break that down into skills you need to build. These skills get broken down into daily practices. Daily practices can often be broken down into smaller steps to help you take that first action (remember Keys 2 and 3??)
"Focus on the process, not the outcome. The outcome will take care of itself, if your process is right."
Do you need help becoming a habit-change rockstar?
I offer a free 30-min goal-mapping session where we can discuss your goals and a plan to achieve them.
Do your habits need a refresher, or an overhaul, post-quarantine?
I can help you identify the 1-2 habits to work on right now.
Are you having a hard time creating or activating your plan?
I can help you create a roadmap to help you achieve your goal (your "WHY," the skills, and the daily practices mentioned in Key 5 above). Sometimes, it just helps to have someone to be your cheerleader (and hold you accountable).
What have you got to lose? The session is free and in 30-minutes we will map your goal so you can see a path towards success...you can choose where to go from there.
So many of us have had to adjust our routines and may have found some bad habits, or just need to adjust our good habits to fit in with our new reality. If you've had the realization that your habits need an overhaul (or even just a refresher) to create/maintain your post-quarantine healthy lifestyle, these 5 keys can help you become a habit-change rockstar.
Find your why
Set reasonable expectations
Start taking action
Find the power of outside motivation
Focus on the process, not the outcome
If you'd like a little help working through these (and so many other ways to create habits), schedule your FREE goal-mapping session with me.
Get my Ultimate Habit Checklist and Mini-Guide, which outlines my simple process to help you find your healthiest self.
Stay safe, stay healthy.