It has been said that “Motivation is what gets you started, and Habit is what keeps you going.” So I wanted to do a quick check-in after my 30 Day Challenge back in April, to let you know that my habits are still going strong. The challenge was a personal development series to re-establish some habits of mine that had slipped. My personal journey was successful, as 60 days later:
- I am still writing in my daily gratitude journal
- I am still practicing yoga daily
- I am still logging my food daily
- I am sleeping better
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” ~Mike Murdock
The results of all of this?
- I have lost a total of 8 lbs. since April 1st!
- I have had only one major flare of my fibromyalgia (while I was sick), and a couple of minor ones that I recovered from quickly.
- I don’t have the typical morning stiffness when my feet hit the ground in the morning, thank you yoga!
- I have been sleeping much better through the night – fewer wake-ups and easily going back to sleep, most likely from going back on hormones. I am still not sleeping enough, but one step at a time.
- I am able to control my mindless eating habits.
And most importantly:
- I feel so much better! 🙂 ❤
Tips to Build Habits
There’s a great article I just read on Lifehack.org on 18 Tricks to Make New Habits. It’s a great read if you are looking for new to build some new habits. It’s interesting to note that many of those tricks I was using myself, so I wanted to share the top 7 tips that worked best for me during my recent challenge:
- Try it for 30 Days – If you haven’t read my 30 Day Challenge series, here’s the link to the final results and it has links to the entire series in it. Three to four weeks is a good block of time for committing to and building new habits.
- Make it Daily – I missed a day or two for when I was sick and just didn’t have the energy to practice yoga, but consistency is definitely key if you want a habit to stick.
- Start Simple – With my challenge I think I piled one too many things in there. My gratitude, yoga, and food journalling were very consistent by my sleep habits weren’t. I also dealt with a prolonged illness during that time, which didn’t help. To focus on my sleeping habits, I will have to have a 30 day period dedicated to it I think. But the point is don’t try to change too many things at once.
- Be Consistent – Try to do your new habits at the same time every day. Perhaps you exercise upon waking up, like I do. Or set a reminder on your phone for the same time every day that you want to practice this new habit.
- Write it Down – I don’t expect everyone to blog about their habit building like I did, but write down your goals and track your progress. You can find an app to use or use a bullet journal format. My Fitness Pal was the app I used for tracking exercise and eating habits. Here’s an example of a bullet journal tracker that you could easily do on a piece of paper or in your normal planner. (There a lot of planners these days that have these pre-built into them too!)
- Be Imperfect – Or as I like to say, extend yourself grace. We are all imperfect. We are allowed to be human. If you fail, fail forward, meaning learn from what you did wrong, pick yourself up, and try again. The scale may move up and down. You may miss a day of working out or practicing your new habit. It’s not the end of the world. You can pick up the next day where you left off or you can start over. Just don’t give up.
- Do it for Yourself – I think this is the most important one. You can only change what you can control. While there might be other outside fringe benefits from your new habits, you should be focusing on those things that motivate you. I wanted to feel better physically and mentally, and look better, so I chose things that would help me reach those goals.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~Rumi
Typically, there is also some Reward in the middle to motivate and at the end to celebrate your success! Celebration is an important part of life. I didn’t include this on my list, because personally my reward was the results I achieved from my hard work and habit building: feeling better, looking better, and having less pain and fewer flares. But this past week I did buy myself a new yoga outfit! 🙂 #Winning
For more tips, read my old old post entitled Better than Unicorns about 5 tips to be a better you!
In the End
Habit building is a journey; it doesn’t happen over night. Enjoy the process along the way. Baby steps are still steps forward. I often think of Bill Murray in “What about Bob?” when beginning something new. His character had OCD and was advised that he needed to take baby steps – build tiny habits – to get through his day.
Setting small, attainable goals will help you achieve the bigger goals in your life.
“Little by little does the trick.” ~Aesop
Enjoy the journey!
Are you looking to change some things in your life? Do you have other tips for building new habits?