Developing healthy habits can sometimes be frustrating. Most people are trying to juggle numerous things in their life when attempting to adapt a healthier lifestyle or new fitness regimen.
Let’s say you want to create a new exercise habit; walking for 20 minutes every morning before work. You might tell yourself something like this:
"I’m ready for a change. This time I will be very consistent by walking everyday during the weekday. I have my new shoes, my walking partner and I’m ready to get healthier. Monday we start."
This is a story you’re telling your mind. Although it’s not real, it has a powerful effect in getting your mindset right and getting you to move and take action!
You’re good for the first 2 days. Wednesday rolls around and you’re partner calls to tell you her kid is sick and she can’t do the walk for the next couple days...which leaves you on your own. It’s you and your mind.
The next couple days, it’s a little harder to get out of bed early, but you fight through, knowingly that very soon your partner will rejoin you. She then texts you that she won’t be able to make it at that time at all, as her work schedule has shifted.
Now, you are completely on your own...and all of the sudden your mindset starts creating some doubtful thoughts: “Oh no, I may not be able to keep this up EVERY day.”
The following week you stay up late on Sunday and miss your Monday walk which puts a damper on your rhythm. You end up walking only once that week and your mind now begins with the story: “Dang it, I’m screwing up. It’s just tough to keep this going. I’m just not that disciplined.”
Just like that, your self belief is affected.
Your belief system surrounding your habit and the story you tell yourself matters more than most people realize.
So how do you tell a story that can actually help you maintain your positive habits?
The truth is, none of the stories you tell yourself is true. Amplified fears and worries are often made into stories that are far worse than actuality.
Ideally you want to stay in the present, but that is not quite how our minds work. We like stories. We are used to stories, so the key is developing good stories that can constantly be edited to reflect a positive outcome, instead of letting it spiral out of control.
Here’s how to tell a better story to yourself and develop everlasting habits:
When in doubt, always try to step outside the box and look at the big picture. Recite the many reasons why your new habit will take you towards a better life which will ultimately benefit those around you that you love.
Committed to your health,
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