It happens to all of us. We are doing so well with our goal – whether it be to eat healthier, exercise more, read more, or spend more time with our families. And then, life gets in the way. The seasons change. We fall back into our old habits and we forget to call our parents for a month, forget to run for two months, start smoking again, stop reading.
How can we do better? How can we get back on the wagon? Well, it turns out, while it does require a lot of hard work, dedication, and determination, it is indeed possible to do.
Step 1. Schedule your good habits back in
We need to make sure that the habits we want to keep are kept. That means making them a priority again. A great way to do that is to put in your phone or email calendar the habits you want to keep so that you remember to do them.
This will ensure that you are indeed setting aside time – maybe a half hour or so – to call you parents or to go on that run or hit the gym. And a tip for those who lift weights – as long as you get your sets in, you do not need to spend any more than 40 minutes at the gym. Just make sure that you get in all your reps and work out all the muscles that you were planning to work that day.
Step 2. Have someone to disappoint
There is nothing more embarrassing than disappointing someone. It is something which hurts far more than cheating yourself. If you are only cheating yourself, you will be able to rationalize it away to yourself. However, if you disappoint someone else, the excuse better bet good.
If you are trying to run again or go to the gym, join a running group, make a friend at the gym, or even hire a personal trainer. If you fail to show up, people will think negatively of you, and you will be known as lazy. This peer pressure will help you to stay on track with your goals.
If you are writing something, try and tell at least one good friend about it. If you have already tried this, and still nothing, just know that they already do not believe you. Use this chance to prove them wrong.
Step 3. Work with what you have
Maybe you do not have the money for a new computer or for a gym membership. Well, people have been doing body workouts without gyms since forever, and before computers, people chiseled things into rock! That does not mean that you have to go out and deface a brick wall, but you can get a notebook and a pen super cheaply.
Focusing on what you do not have is a way to focus on excuses. Excuses will get you nowhere. Remember, you can always rationalize failure by putting the blame on something or someone else, but it takes a truly strong person to work with what they have and succeed.
4. Make your environment work for you
If you are around people who are always bringing you down, who always say that you are worth nothing and will never succeed, you will eventually start to believe it. The best way to succeed in this environment is to try to change that environment as much as possible. Sure, there are jerks out there who will laugh at you for trying, but many people – especially in gyms – will be so stoked to see you working your hardest that they will come help cheer you on.