“I had a bad weekend.”
“I need to get back on track.”
“I need a reset.”
“I’m feeling discouraged.”
Words I speak or hear almost daily.
We lose focus, lack motivation, forget the reasons, get tired, care less. The feeling of enthusiasm and ambition towards our wellness goals is often fleeting. For me, it’s high in the morning and very low in the evening. Even if I had a completely Progressive, feel good day, by the time late evening rolls around my laissez faire attitude sometimes gets the best of me.
But why? I don’t feel like anything is triggering me. I’m not sad, upset, or stressed. I’m not overjoyed or celebrating. I’m definitely not hungry. I’m just simply in the habit of finishing my day off with a snack on the couch. And when I’m in the moment, the thought of changing that habit is pretty meaningless to me. I’m not overflowing with energy and enthusiasm for my wellness, instead I’m winding down, trying to shut off my energy and goal oriented mind. I’m ready to decompress. So the habit lives on.
We all have a habit that’s limiting us. Thoughtless, meaningless, things we do that really give us little to no gratification. We just do it, because it comes natural. And in the moment, when it comes to changing that habit, you could care less.
So we have to address it when we care MORE. And make a contract with ourselves that we will carry it out even in the times when we could care less. State the fact up front: A lot of the time, when we’re faced with choosing between our old way of doing things and our new way, we’re going to care less. We would rather go about the status quo and start the new habit later (when our energy and enthusiasm are higher). But then next time comes, and we’re waiting for NEXT time.
For me, it seems like my energy and enthusiasm is highest when I’m talking about my wellness goals, strategizing how I’m going to achieve them, prepping, and planning. Then, when I’m in the moment of following through, the excitement has waned and I’m left with what?
A decision! That’s what. A decision that I WILL carry out the new habit, regardless as to how I feel. A decision that I made while I was feeling ambitious, but that I guaranteed myself I would follow through with, knowing that I wouldn’t care as much later. When I made the decision to make the change, I prepared myself for this. Part of the habit change was carrying it out even if I carry it out in the most un-enthused demeanor. I’m not going to wait for the motivation to make changes.
Acting only in times of motivation is what causes the need to “reset” or “get back on track” constantly. Starting now, I’m going to carry out my habit changes when I’m feeling defeated or tired or when I’m feeling like celebrating is priority. And most importantly, I’m going to follow through when I feel indifferent.
Are you with me?
Post Script: The Wellness Simplified Community rebounds their thoughts on staying true to goals.
A friend read this and reflected back to me, “If you’re tired of starting over, then stop quitting.” Wow. We’ve all heard this one liner before, but it really hits home and compliments this passage. If you’re finding yourself struggling with the constant “reset”, that may be a great mantra to take on!
The same friend also said,
“THIS is what gets us to self actualization! When you can have strength in your "careless" times or the unmotivated moments. That is when you're truly honoring yourself and your goals! That is when you start living the life you choose to live! And not just fitness or nutritional goals, but any goals for that matter! I truly believe there is no better or truer feeling of accomplishment than in times of self-honoring of goals.”
So on point.
Trying to determine a strategy as to how to stay true to a decision, habit change or goal? One community member suggests: consider writing them down, making it more than just a thought; share your specific lifestyle change with a close friend or spouse; draft a contract with yourself. To stay motivated, share and celebrate your small wins. Discover what makes you feel accountable and accomplished.