The other day I started getting antsy about not growing enough as an individual. I started wondering, "How come I'm not making more time to read self-help books? How come I'm not setting specific growth goals for myself?"
I indulged that line of thinking for about two seconds and then remembered that 2016 is my year of "Health & Wellness." Specifically, I am focused on sustaining an exercise routine and focusing on healthy eating.
And I've been doing it! Despite working full-time and trying to be a good wife/mother/friend, I manage to run twice a week and go to yoga once a week. And it feels great.
The key for me has been:
- Being really clear about what I want to accomplish. I knew that I wanted to run twice a week and go to yoga once a week. I also knew that I wanted to lose a couple pounds (and then maintain my weight).
- Identifying the exact habits that I would need to implement in order to achieve my goal. I knew that we would need to eat healthy meals at home at least five times a week. I knew that I would need to run and do yoga.
- Setting exact days and times to implement my habits. I looked at my calendar and picked specific days and times when I would exercise. That makes it a lot harder to make excuses!
- Tracking my results. In the beginning--when I was trying to form new habits--I religiously tracked my results. I put a little notebook in my bathroom (with a pen) so that it would be really easy to weigh myself and record the results. I also put checks for each time I ran or did yoga. I even used the Pact app to motivate me.
Now that my habits are firmly in place, I actually don't track my results anymore. But it was helpful in the beginning.
The real trick to changing your habits is to figure out yourself. Gretchen Rubin's quiz for understanding how to build your own self-discipline can be helpful. Once you know how to change your own habits in pursuit of a goal, anything is possible in your life!