New Habits — This Helps You Get Started and Stay on Track

new habits exercise woman

New habits are all about your choices.

Interested in starting some new habits? But worried, because you’ve fallen off the wagon so many times before?

Well, getting started on a new habit is part of the battle.

Then, as you may know all-too-well, sticking with it is the steady work that carries you over the finish line.

So how does that play out for you when you’re aiming to create a new habit?

New Habits 101

A couple of weeks ago, one of my coaching clients contacted me with a time management problem that may sound familiar to many of you:

She’s been wanting to reintroduce exercise into her daily regimen, and she wanted to start before the Holidays rather than make it a New Year’s Resolution.

She’d been in a regular routine for many years but then got injured, lost ground, and let go of the thread. Getting back on track has been really challenging for her — much more than she had anticipated.

Right now her pattern, she says, is discouraging because she is “on again, off again” and she can’t seem to get into a reliable rhythm.

We had a great discussion and came up with some things for her to think about and try over the coming week. I thought I’d share three key points here. See if they resonate.

3 Tips to Get on Track and Stay There

  • You Make Time Choices Every Day.  Getting back into an exercise regimen is really about creating a new habit.  It usually takes 28 days, minimum, to create a new habit.  So, don’t set yourself up by expecting to fall into a reliable rhythm right from the start. Every single day that you exercise, you are making a time choice.  It is important to see this as a proactive step rather than something that will just “happen.”  It may become a habit if you stick with it. But early on, there is nothing automatic about it.
  • Have Realistic Expectations. “On Again, Off Again” May Be How You Start.  Don’t be discouraged by an on again, off again pattern.  Whether you are creating a new habit or breaking an old one, the follow-through is often spotty at the beginning.  The key is to keep making proactive time choices and keep coming back.
  • Validate Yourself.  It isn’t always fun or immediately rewarding to start something new.  The first steps can be challenging.  That’s why it is so important to be a supportive and positive cheerleader for yourself.  Self-talk can make or break your efforts. So, think of what you’d tell a friend who was embarking on a new course and feeling discouraged with the results. That’s how you need to encourage yourself.

I know I said three key points … but I have to just add one more important piece – watch out for your inner critic.  That nagging, undermining voice can put a big damper on your efforts.  The more you can learn to recognize and not pay heed to those critical words … the better off you’ll be!

So, how do you create and maintain healthy new habits?  Are there any tips you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear.

And here’s something more that helps — especially with that unhelpful inner critic…

My Exercise and Guide Book, “These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!” gives you proven exercises, checklists, and tips with step-by-step support to take back your power and quiet the self-criticism that saps your confidence, your energy, and your time. Click this link to get started.

“‘These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!’ How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Save Your Sanity and Your Time” offers a powerful (and empowering) antidote to the destructiveness of self-criticism. With practical exercises, checklists and tips this Exercise and Guide Book helps you recognize the critical voices you carry inside. And not only that – it gives you a step-by-step path to take back your power and counter those negative messages with clear, positive messages of your own. Click this link to get started.

Let’s explore time together …

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