Good Tuesday morning. We are now 17 days into the month of January as well as into the year. In yesterday’s post we talked about the idea of taking 28 days to make something a true habit. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit and make a change in our lives but we talked about how giving yourself a full 28 days will make sure it’s really part of your life. That can make the difference in your success. I hope that habits and change are starting in your life in 2012.
Yesterday as I was putting up that post, I personally was dealing with some of the issues that I’m facing in this new year in making changes in my life and taking it step by step. In December, when planning my year, I took on the idea of making my life healthier. One of the changes I planned to make was to exercise more, to keep my heart and my life healthy. Right off I had to deal with the fact that even taking small steps of walking I ended up with cramps the following day due to not stretching enough and not taking enough extra water in my system.
When people face challenges like this, they can tend to give up hope in the changes that they are trying to make. Yesterday when I woke up, I wanted to just lie in bed, not do anything. With the many stresses and other things I am facing right now, I am also looking at getting regular massages to work out the stress out as well as deal with those pains and rough times from doing more exercise.
But then I had a reminder when looking at these changes. A little more than a year ago my father was feeling very stressed so he went to get a massage and that is where he left this world. Putting the two of these things together today I wanted to bring out some points to help you in the process of making the changes, making new habits this year to change your life for the better.
- Set some reminders. In life we always are tempted to fall back into our old ways. The soreness I’m experiencing in my new exercise program is a reminder from my body that I’m not as young as I used to be. To counter that I need to remind myself that what I’m doing by exercising more and stretching is part of what I’m doing to keep me healthy. The discomfort in my body often makes me want to quit my program so I set a system of reminders that tells me to keep on track when I want to just give up because the road is not easy. The new habits will be formed but until they are life will be a bit uncomfortable.
2. Stay consistent with your plan. This is key to developing a real habit. You can’t do it only when you feel like it. As I was thinking about the fact that I need a massage for those sore muscles that need to get some stress out of them, I was reminded of the fact that my Dad didn’t lose his life on that massage table because of the massage itself. It was because he was not taking his medication for his heart – something he should have been doing consistently, every day. We must stay consistent with training or whatever it is that is needed to make any changes and habits that will bring success in our lives.
3. Accountability. As coaches we always bring this one up. If you have a trainer or friend to work out with, you always have someone to hold you to your goals. Or maybe you have someone to keep you remembering the routine things that need to become regular habits, like the doctor who told my dad he needed to take that medication to keep his heart in shape. We all have someone, from our doctor, to our kids, parents, or close friends, who wants to see us succeed at the goals we want to accomplish. We set habits we want to develop and then have that loving family member or friend or coach to keep us on track. If you are like me and working to make your life healthy in 2012, I recommend a health coach. This is someone who will keep you accountable to the fitness and health goals you want to achieve. In coaching, it is you who sets that plan; your agenda is what life coaches are all about.
So take these three ideas to make your habits stick in 2012. After all, the year is just starting; if you have not gotten started, now is the time. Don’t wait until this year is over then say, “I wish I would have…” You can start over at any time; that is the great thing about a new day or new week. You decide to make that change.