This has happened with food plans, exercise programs, evening skin care practices... and even with my supplements. I am not sure why this happens but have been doing some self-evaluation and make an effort to turn it around.
I have come up with a list of ways to keep myself on right track... to keep my motivation to practice my new habits more consisitently. Perhaps they will be helpful to you, too.
1. Keep the WHY in mind. Set SPECIFIC and TIME-RELATED goals.
I find I do much better if I have a particular why or goal in mind. When I am training for a running event, I know that I need to do my training runs as specified in order to actually be able to run a successful race.
Last Summer I wanted to rock a particular dress at my nephew's wedding so I worked hard on my food and exercise plan to make that happen. I wanted to look good in the pictures that would be taken throughout the day and that vanity kept me on track. Who cares if your WHY is shallow or vain. It is YOUR why and whatever it is, it is valid.
2. Make sure your expectations are REALISTIC.
This is a big one for me and in the past I have fallen into the trap of setting a goal that is just not attainable. It can be very crippling. I think now I probably don't reach high enough but I really do not like to fail. So, I make sure I am setting goals that are challenging but do-able.
You may be able to lose 10 pounds in a month, but you probably cannot do it in a week!
3. Make an ACTION PLAN and outline the PROCESS in detail.
It is all well and good to say you want to do a 5 km run in 6 weeks, but if you are not running at all, you had better have a plan. Do some research and find a program such as C25K that you can follow and that you want to follow. It might entail working with a coach, or joining a group. Write out your
plan in specific detail, including your shopping list for equipment/supplies, your schedule and anything you need to do to make these steps happen. Do you need a babysitter? Do you need to set up a phone app with reminders? The more details the better.
4. Make sure your plan fits your LIFESTYE and your TIMETABLE.
If you like to sleep in on Saturday morning, and your new running group gets together at 7 a.m. how likely are you to stay with it? If your husband or partner wants to have dinner with you every evening, you are not likely going to want to attend a 6 p.m. Weight Watchers meeting. You have to be happy and comfortable with your plan or you will not follow it. If your family is unhappy, you will not follow it. If you are tired and miserable, you will not follow it. I am not saying you cannot make changes, but I doubt that overhauling your life is going to work for very long.
5. Keep a JOURNAL.
This is key for me, whether a food journal or a training diary. I like to keep notes and see my progress. And I pretty it up with colored pens and stickers! I like the process of writing down what I am doing and seeing my efforts in writing.
6. REVIEW, EVALUATE, and EVOLVE.
Celebrate successes. Forgive failures. Change the plan if your progress is way more or way less than you expect. It is important to keep on top of things and I think that these reviews help with commitment and interest and ultimately with motivation.
Motivation and commitment are very personal and will change from person to person, and even throughout our lives.
What motivates you to keep going with a new program or a new habit?