Got that new planner out? How about some New Year Resolutions rattling in the back of your mind? Join the club.
But what can we do to ensure that you actually make these habits stick? First, narrow it down to one. That's right. Just one. In fact, just one piece of the whole. Want to get fit in the new year? You and every one else. So what separates you from the rest? Well, hopefully after reading this, you will slow the heck down! You've got an entire twelve months to get from where you are today to fit. Why do we all decide that if we want to be fit in 2021, it has to happen by the end of January?
Success in January might look like re-introducing yourself to the gym. That's it. Anything you do in the gym is gravy (delicious delicious gravy). Right? If you haven't been to the gym since COVID started, you better not be expecting to hit the treadmill for multiple miles, or the weights at the levels you left the gym pumping. Reality sucks, but reality says that just getting started again is your win. So start small, ease into it and make it enjoyable so you'll go back! Because really, if getting fit in 2021 is really your goal, you will have to go to the gym more than once! Go to the gym in January. Maybe twice or more. And then level up from there in February.
No matter your goals, and habits, we tend to think of them as all or nothing. Look, if your goal is to drop weight for a wedding and you've only got a month to do it, by all means hit it all hard and fast. But really, none of us got into this shape overnight and sadly, it might take longer to get out of it. But for it to really stick, we have to see it in the long-run. We have to look ahead.
So whatever your goal. How does it feel to stretch the deadline out? Give yourself a full year. The small steps, the monthly or weekly goals should seem ridiculously easy to you.
Is your goal to be more intentional with your children? Great. Start today. Don't quit your job, just yet, but maybe pump yourself on the car ride home to know that no matter what condition your house is in (seriously how are there dishes already?!) to take those first few minutes when the kids are excited to see you again to make a big deal out of seeing them again, too! Get on the floor, play, chase them, whatever you can do to show them you missed them as much as they missed you. I promise that this little change will feel like nothing in the big scheme of your day and time management and yet it changes everything in the eyes of your kids about you and where they fit into your life. And they even get excited to be helpful as you start to jump into the evening/dinner routine.
Now, in a recent email, I mentioned Habit Stacking and particularly an article by James Clear that helps us understand how and why our brains work the way they do. It's fascinating (to me anyways!) but basically it says that habits and changes in our lives are difficult enough to implement, but if you are doing it wrong you will fail every time.
It's great that your bestie has a great morning routine that works for her. But hey, if your kids are night-owls (seriously, where did they get that from?!) getting up an hour earlier really isn't an option for you. And as James points out, the best habits are the ones that stack onto what you already do. So turn inward. Be honest with yourself. What is your routine. Not the one you wish you had, or the one you sometimes have. The one you really have. What does that look like? Great.
Find something in that routine that stands out as a pivot point and let's tack this new thing into the middle. Like he mentioned, every time he shuts his laptop for lunch he does 10 pushups. That might not be your new habit, but if water is, maybe every time you get distracted by social media, you have to get up and refill your water and chug while you scroll.
Get creative and see if you can't hack your own matrix!
Good luck and let us all know how it goes