So we're into the new year, that time when we make our resolutions to do this and that and more often than not fall flat on our faces by the end of Jan! Through this series of blogs, I'll do my best to point out the tips and tricks to aid our changes, shift that idea away from resolutions and pave the way to creating habits that will last.
Start small & work up
So you've set your resolution, 'you're going to start going to the gym 3 times a week'. Okay that's great but works just been exhausting this week and the weekends here and I just want to relax, this just isn't going to work out. Start it small and simple, if you're just starting out exercising again then there is nothing wrong with making it once a week, even doing a home routine the first couple of weeks to build into it.
We make our targets too big to begin with that it is too easy for us to say 'NO' to it. By starting out small and simple, it's a non-threatening change that we can't refuse to do it. If we set our aims to do 50 press ups a day of course we can turn around and say we don't have the motivation for that, but what's stopping us doing 5 today? 6 tomorrow? That's not going to kill me is it?
We find that the motivation we require to start the habit is the greatest amount needed, once we begin our tasks they start to become second nature and the motivation required decreases. Like getting out of bed in the morning, the hardest part is whipping of the duvet to expose ourselves to the cold, put our feet on the floor and get up. Once that's done, it's pretty easy to continue our morning.
Small steps add up
Keeping along our theme of small efforts, we have to realise that they add up to the bigger picture. Getting 1% done every day will get us to our goals and is a lot easier than suddenly realising 'oh god, I've got to get 10% done today or I'm failing'.
We often worry that taking steps towards our goals require great sacrifices and big movements, forgetting the impact that the little steps make. Look at the habits you have today, good or bad, they've been crafted from days/months/years of little steps and that's where you are today.
We find that unknowingly we'll make these 1% steps every single day whether they are for good or bad, so shift your focus here. Notice your actions and start taking those small steps to form the good habits you require, simple things like take the stairs over the lift can build into you naturally walking more etc.
If you're serious about wanting to build that new habit, start small and take the little steps to make a big difference. By focussing on the behaviour, we naturally gravitate towards our goals.