I think everyone starts new things with the best of intentions. It is however hard to add new habits into our routines and then keep them going long term. ‘Life’ always seems to get in the way. I think the trick is to keep building momentum so that when a rough patch comes along where we might fall off the wagon we sail through and keep going with our new habits and goals.
Here are my ideas for how we can build momentum:
Don’t try to change too many things at once: I like to pick one main focus for the week and then a couple of sub focus goals. So at the moment I am working on building the getting up early habit as my main focus (I have been doing this for the past two weeks) and then my sub focus is the habit to write for an hour each morning and I just started a new morning green smoothie habit also.
Celebrate your successes: If you stick with something for 30 days or 60 days plan a reward. Do something special for yourself to celebrate your achievement. It is nice to set a date to keep motivation up and to have something to work towards.
Drop all the unnecessary: It is common to collect unfinished projects and things we mean to do but never get around to. Look at your ‘to do’ list and eliminate all of the unnecessary. Anything in our lives that is unfinished or unresolved weighs on our mind and can stop us moving forward with new things.
Let go of perfection: Don’t beat yourself up if you skip a day – there is always tomorrow to start afresh with your new habits. Currently the habit to write everyday is far more important for me to develop than than the quality of the writing. You have to start somewhere and quality will come with time.
Stack habits: Stack new habits in front of already ingrained habits. Stacking new habits in front of already ingrained habits helps to keep them going long term as the old habit acts as a ‘cue’ for the new habit.
Put yourself in autopilot: When we first introduce new things into our routine it can take some time to learn. So practice, practice, practice until you can do it almost in your sleep!
Beware of your mindset: We need to really monitor our self talk and what we are telling ourselves everyday. From the time we wake up our mindset needs to be positive. If we work at developing a positive mindset in the morning it helps to set us up positively for the rest of the day and makes it much easier for us to continue working on our goals.
How do you like to keep the momentum going? Please share.
(Photo: Pablo GarciaSaldaña)