I am one of “those” people who gets overly excited and AMPED up about things. I remember back in my 20’s I would resolutely say to myself, “That’s IT! I’m changing my life, NOW!” and immediately vow to exercise 90 minutes everyday, start a daily yoga practice at the local studio, meditate for an hour, walk everywhere I went, only eat salads from now on, and cut out all sugar. Guess how long that lasted? If I’m honest, probably hours, not even days, let alone weeks.
Thankfully I’ve learned since then, when it comes to creating new Self-Maintenance habits, these 5 steps will actually make it happen:
1) Keep it simple. What got in my way in my 20’s was there were too many things. We can’t change our entire lives all at once, because we live in the one we have right now. Pick ONE thing that would make the biggest difference in your life right now. Maybe its journaling in the morning, meditating at noon, yoga before bed, or whatever it is. But just pick one to focus on at a time.
2) Make it doable. Science explains why micro habits are so successful is that they focus on building the muscle of showing up. The aim is to do as little as you can to fulfill the new habit so that it’s almost impossible to say no to. This could be one line in a journal every day. Taking 3 deep breaths for a meditation habit. Doing one Sun Salutation to establish a daily practice. The great thing about yoga and meditation, is that there’s decades of research that says you’ll start to see long term benefits like sleeping better; relieving anxiety, depression and stress; and increasing happiness in less than 10 minutes a day (8 minutes is the sweet spot) which makes it even more exciting to commit to!
3) Make it easy. There are so many great ways to make things easier to minimize resistance. You can set out your gym clothes the night before. Lay out your mat for your morning practice. Have an accountability partner to keep you on track. Sign up for 3 days of yoga videos that will send you new 10 minute practices every day…sorry, I had to throw that one in there! Basically, we need to look at where our biggest resistance comes from and look for creative ways to minimize it’s effects.
4) Schedule that shit in. I say this ALL THE TIME because it’s true. Scheduling makes it real. If you want to ensure that you do something, you MUST make it important enough to make time for. Never in the history of the world have we ever “fit a workout in” we schedule it in. We make time for it, or it might as well be a no.
5) Commit to yourself. Commitment is your promise to yourself that you will follow through at all costs because not only this new habit is important to you, but more importantly that YOU are important to you. Self-maintenance is an assertion of your own inherent worth. Not something that you tend to when no one else requires you. Not something you “fit in” with all of your non-existent time. Not something you earn by finishing 12 loads of laundry and chauffeuring the kids all weekend. But something you do for yourself for the sole reason that you deserve to be taken care of with as much love, respect, and dignity as all sacred beings. You deserve to be loved and to love on yourself. You deserve to commit this time for you just because it makes you feel good to do it.
If you want a little help getting started on self-maintenance that includes a daily yoga practice, grab 3 days of FREE yoga videos and I’ll send them right to your inbox. Can’t get much easier than that.
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I’d love to hear which of these 5 steps do you struggle with the most? I still get overly excited and take on way too many things. Comment below and tell me about it!