Forbes magazine debunked the idea that a habit can be formed in 21 days. That goes to show us that quick fix self-help won’t ingrain habits in the long run. However, active and consistent participation in self-help can maintain habits and provoke change. With honest conviction, we can change. So, yes, this will be hard, but I am going to get up and work out in the morning!
Unfortunately, no Smart phone app will directly induce weight loss, secure relationship happiness or help with job perseverance. Sure, devices make situations easier, but we can’t just turn on the treadmill and watch it rotate.
Too often we make temporary changes that won’t form lasting habits. We get motivated to work out because of our recent break-up. We stop smoking because of a bad cough. Don’t wait to form habits, form them daily!
Here are some tips to form habits and sustain them:
- Too Much Too Soon. Sometimes we start with high expectations for ourselves or we get burnt out on the rigid regiment that we have set for ourselves. Cut your beginning goals in half and build them over time. Start small.
- Know Yourself. Do you like variety? Do you need to be pushed? If you are not self-motivated to work out, a plain gym membership is not going to do you any good. You need classes, trainers, or a work out buddy. You need accountability. My friend went to this amazing local Pilates class. They had a cancellation fee so with finances being her priority, she got her butt to class. Do what works for you.
- Discipline. You have to be willing to meet your goals by setting them and achieving them often. Use SMART goals as a way to set up these goals. Set them often. Set them SMART.
- Excuses. Successful people will be the first to tell you that they don’t use excuses. You move forward, you take risks and you take responsibility. Change happens when we stop excusing and start doing.
- Give Yourself Grace. If you get stuck in a rut, have a pre-planned way to get out of it. Shame will keep you stuck. Give yourself grace to move forward.
- Reward Yourself. As adults we can have anything we want anytime we want it. Be your own parent. Allow yourself to have a treat, whether it is a new outfit or a fun vacation, but not until you reach a certain goal. If you are motivated for the reward, the system works.
I hope this article inspires your break-up bod to be your all- time bod! Get motivated and embrace change!
I sat with my roommate and her boyfriend today as we chatted about the first of 30 posts. That first was going to be on the topic of motivation. As my motivation for writing decreased I began to wonder how I would strike up drive each day for 30 days in order to finish the task of writing into the New Year. Writing about motivation today seemed ironic. I sat watching old Friends reruns and ate a Hershey’s bar as I pondered, what drives us to accomplish things?
Then half a Hershey’s Bar later, I figured out some of the keys to motivation: Accountability, Inspiration, Humor, and Amy.
Accountability: I was accountable to each and every reader to write one post for 30 days and by announcing it, I was holding myself to a standard to be accountable to myself and others. Accountability is different from goals. Goals are often measurable, but accountability is part of our ethical beings.
Inspiration: I often read articles and watch video clips to get ideas flowing. We can be inspired by stories, people, or other’s motivation. Inspiration is a way to provide a jump-start to motivation.
Humor: Keep laughing. No one can be motivated by the actual lemons life tends to give us. So if you can keep laughing, you tend to be able to keep going.
Amy: (Insert your desired friend here). Amy is my little sister and best friend, whom has been a hero of mine for a long time. When I am too emotional about something, I know she will be the voice of reason. She has always taken initiative and does so with so much humor and grace that I am honored to have her in my life. Having someone in your life who can be your pseudo-rational self in emotional times is essential. Motivation takes place in ration, emotional states leave us crippled and jaded.
If I hadn’t understood my ability to search for my motivation, you would not be reading this post. I’d be an unhappy, unaccomplished writer with a candy wrapper and a second season of Friends playing. Motivation doesn’t just happen, it needs to be promoted. Accountability, inspiration, humor, and being surrounded by good people are essential. Motivation is not intrinsic. You have to work for it.