At one of my recent events, a lady in the audience asked a good question;
How do you get back on track when you get out of the habit of your good habits?
I’m sure it has happened to you in the past. You create a new habit, you are motivated, excited and all is going well. Until… you get sick, you go on holidays or some other event in life gets in the way.
What to do next?
First things first, forgive yourself. In my experience, the moment I let go of my disappointment and frustration was the moment I was able to move forward and focus positively on what I wanted to achieve. Negative emotions about what you should have done and could have done serve you no purpose. These negative thoughts and emotions will not help you to make any progress in life. Leave the past in the past and focus on the future.
It’s not All or Nothing
One reason people often fail at habits is because they set their standards too high. If you have a healthy habit of eating and you over indulge at a party, all is not lost. It’s better to eat right 80% of the time than giving in and not doing it at all. In life it’s good to set high standards for yourself but not to the extreme that it sabotages your success. Remember to forgive yourself and move forward. This all or nothing mentality is not a healthy mindset. Its ok to mess up every now and again, to overeat to skip an exercise session or to spend a little more than planned. Accept the glitch in the plan and commit to starting again.
If you have missed a couple of weeks or months of your good habits don’t try too much too soon. Jumping back into an hour at the gym might be too much to hope for. If you normally run for a half an hour, commit to doing it for ten minutes. Start small and make it too easy to say no. Start small and create the momentum to continue.
Remember Your Why
When you stop practising your habit you may forget why you commit to it in the first place. Connect back with your why. What are the benefits in practising this habit? How did you feel when you accomplished it? What were the rewards of this habit? If you want to feel motivated to get back on track, understand where the initial desire came from and make sure you feel the joy of already having mastered the habit.
Remember not to try to do more than one thing at a time. If you have gone off track with all your good habits start back with one at a time. It won’t take you as long as it did the first time to create these habits. Each habit you create, strengthens the neural pathways in the brain . When you stop practising they don’t disappear immediately so all the hard work you did was not for nothing. When you start to practise once again you will find you create the habit more quickly.
Observe Your Thoughts
Most importantly monitor your thoughts, observe what’s going on in your mind. What dialogue could be preventing you form taking action and moving forward? If there are negative disempowering thoughts replace them with the positive sort. Speak to yourself with love and encouragement. You can do this, you are strong, you are powerful, you’ve got this.
If you would like to find out more about How to Create Positive Lasting habits, my new book Rise Before Your Bull and other Habits of Successful People outlines The Habit Method a simple way to create positive habits that will help you get your goals and contribute to your happiness and success.