Starting and Sustaining new habitsFeb 18, 2021
Power hour vs Moments and Minutes:
If you have been someone that always sleeps in or starts new habits but they never stick, it becomes a part of your identity, you believe you are a person that can only sleep in late and can’t commit to new habits… the evidence of your past is there to prove it, so the belief that you have about yourself, you hold to be a truth and it keeps you exactly where you are. The thing is belief is not a truth. Our beliefs can keep us stuck or they can elevate us out of our current reality and enable us to strive for more.
When we want to change our behaviours, to change our routines, to change our beliefs about ourselves, to change our circumstances, motivation will only get us so far, and if our track record hasn’t been consistent we have to create new evidence that helps us become more of the person that we want to be, to believe that we really can make and sustain the changes that we desire.
So we have to break the goal down. Our aim might be to have a morning yoga practice, to get up before our kids, partners or before the sun rises, to start our day feeling in control, grounded and whole…BUT there’s a big difference between 6am and 7 am and can be off putting just thinking about it or because we have kids they are up already at that time…everyone has different circumstances, different motivation levels, different existing habits, different energy levels so my suggestion is to break it down small to start with and to be honest about where you are today.
Once we repeat something enough times it’ll become a part of our routine without thinking about it but it wont happen if we don’t start.
First: knowing your why - I have said motivation isn’t enough but it is important to know why you are doing this, what is the emotional driving force to making these changes? Bringing in a movement practice, consciously breathing, meditation, dance, drinking water, stretching, journalling have all been scientifically proven to lower levels of cortisol, focus the mind, reduce anxiety and depression. These are all ways of expanding our awareness beyond our inner chatter.
Second: what can you do that is available to you and is easy to do that you don’t hate doing?
e.g 15 minutes to set your own intention for the day, to choose the pace of your day, to set the tone
It can start smaller than 15 minutes, just choosing to not look at your phone but instead to notice how your body is feeling and asking yourself ‘what can I do to feel better or more comfortable?’ ‘do I need to stretch to feel less achy or journal to get the chatter out of my head?’
So much of life feels out of our control right now so when we decide to take action, to bring back some control that is also scientifically proven to improve our mental health, helping with motivation and energy levels, that builds our self confidence, this is a big deal and by starting small you are more likely to sustain these changes.
Starting a regular practice that is about you becoming self aware, aware of your body, of your thoughts, gives you the power to choose, choose to think or feel differently - stretch to release the tension, dance to bring up your energy and laugh to release the anxiety.
To breathe deeply and really focus on the movement of the trees out the window, bringing in that mindful awareness...all of these actions that we can each take, empower us to believe that we really can and do have an influence over our thoughts and feelings.
First we notice, then we respond, then we notice again...how did that feel? If we do that enough times we will re-wire our brains, change our autopilot responses so that a routine, becomes a habit and then it becomes a practice.
A thing that we do daily, without question because it helps us with our mental health...start small, build the evidence that you can do this and before you know it you will have a new morning routine!