The Journey - Re-condition Your Habits
Still struggling to 'break' those new habits in, one day goes well but the next slips away and time just doesn't seem to be on your side? We need to look at re-conditioning our current habits and putting into action an effective plan of attack.
We may have not realised but we've been conditioned into our current routine through its repetition over time. This is most commonly through our work schedule too, the most common being the 9-5 week and those relaxing (often less so!) weekends. We walked in and accepted this taking control of our daily lives, sometimes we try to plan around it but they often go astray. This isn't to say your routine might not revolve around it also, you get up earlier and sleep later to fit activities in but majority of us are set in stone around our schedules.
Break the mould
So we want to bring those new habits we desire into our lives, but where's the time? I'm so slammed with my current schedule, work finishes then dinner and TV and ..... so on, sound familiar maybe? A simple trick that can help us implement our new plans is this, book your time in advance.
If we set out our plan of action with clear timings and even locations then we are much more likely to stick to our goals and actions. This can be applied to pretty much any activities too, want to read more? 'I usually get in bed at 11 and go to sleep, but now I will get in bed at 10.30 and read for 30 minutes before sleep'. Your goal to exercise more? 'During the next week I will take part in 40 minutes high intensity exercise at 6pm in my garden'.
"Deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal can double or triple your chances for success." Heidi Grant Halvorson, Columbia University professor
By booking in our time it psychologically becomes much more important in our minds to stick too, like work/meetings. We agree to see a friend for a drink, we have a set time and we're ready and there for that set time, this is the same principle we apply by booking in our habit timings. Give it a try over the next coming few weeks and watch those new habits begin to creep into your regular day life.
Sometimes we will struggle to get those new habits into our lifestyle though. We plan well, we try to action them but the days get away and it becomes harder and harder as each passes. Don't worry, try and implement this strategy of 'if-then'.
This can be a great aid to start ourselves on the path of a new habit or aid the struggle we are currently facing, it's simple and effective. It plans for those unexpected events that can always occur and we use it as so 'if ______ happens then _______'.
If work overruns and I can't do my workout then I will get up early tomorrow and do it
If the partner wants to eat out tonight then I will prepare a healthy lunch for work tomorrow
Trying to introduce new habits and break your current routine is a difficult task, and by not giving ourselves the aid of cues we rely purely on willpower and motivation both of which can be unreliable and swayed by many factors.
Begin to introduce cues into your lifestyle and watch it change in the right direction..