Many people have the same complaint: “I don’t have time to <insert healthy habit/ activity>!” Some of these may be familiar struggles:
“How do I fit breakfast in my busy schedule?”
“How to eat healthy at work when I have no time?”
“How to juggle regular exercise and work?”
“How to avoid the cakes?”
Let’s break this down into baby steps, so it no longer feels like such a huge mountain to climb!
1. Start With One New Habit At A Time
Decide what the ONE new thing/ good habit/ sporting activity is that you want to do, and focus on it. If you currently don’t go to the gym/ don’t make your own meals/ haven’t found your “healthy routine” yet, then break it down into baby steps and pick the ONE thing you’ll start with this week.
When that becomes more familiar after a few weeks, you may decide to add in another one or two new changes, depending what they are. The key is to keep them realistic and achievable. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to make too many new changes at once. Everyone’s pace is different, so decide what yours is.
2. Stop Procrastinating
There’s never going to be a better time to start. There will always be a reason NOT to do something. Quit overthinking it.
Just get off your arse and take that first step.
3. Decide When/ What Time You’ll Do It
Doing something new will mean spending at least an extra 15 - 30 minutes (or more) of your day on it, so you need to decide when and what time works best. It doesn’t have to be the “perfect” time or “perfect” day right off the bat, and you may need to experiment with what the ideal time or number of days are before you find your sweet spot.
So if you want to start journaling, you may want to start off first thing in the morning - which means WAKING UP EARLIER to get it done. If that’s not your thing, maybe end of the day works better for you - which means starting your bedtime wind-down routine earlier in order to give yourself time to journal without cutting into your sleep time.
Commit to this new activity at a certain time on certain days.
“I’ll wake up half-hour earlier to make breakfast before work everyday this week.”
“I’ll go to the gym for a 30-minute workout/ run/ spin class on Mondays and Thursdays after work.”
“I’ll make an extra portion of dinner 2 nights a week, so I can bring leftovers for lunch to work the next day”.
4. Schedule It In Your Diary
...Or it’ll never get done.
Yup. After you’ve picked a time of day and how frequently you want to do it, put it in your diary whether you use an analog paper version or a digital calendar. Hold that time sacred, and move everything else in your schedule around it (within reason).
We’ll find reasons, excuses, or even forget that that’s the day/ time we wanted to <do activity>.
Schedule it in your diary. Otherwise, it’s too easy not to do it and/ or it’ll never get done.
5. Give It Time
While you’re figuring out a new routine, be prepared that it may be difficult at first. I mean, of course! You’re still rewiring your ingrained patterns to become familiar with this new routine. Every point I’ve made up until here is to help reduce some of that initial difficulty. But take heart it will become second nature soon enough.
It’s been said it takes roughly 3 weeks to break a bad habit, 6 weeks to create a new habit, and 36 weeks until the new habit becomes automatic (like brushing your teeth). So cut yourself some slack, some days may be better than others.
Good habits take time to develop, and change that’s sustainable needs time to become a part of your daily routine.
6. Buddy Up With A Friend/ Partner/ Colleague
Involve a friend/ partner/ colleague to help keep you accountable. If you’re meant to be at the gym at 6am, you’re more likely to show up if you’ve agreed to meet someone there (even if it means paying a personal trainer to be that person you’re meeting!)
Doing something new is almost always more fun with company. You invariably learn more by sharing the experience with each other, and overall if you’re getting more out of the experience with company, you’re more likely to stick to doing it in the long-term.
This is why I started a Facebook group, with different 7-day challenges every month - to help you kickstart different new healthy habits and give you support throughout. Our first challenge starts this Sunday, April 9. 7 days of adding one green smoothie to your daily routine.
You know you need to be eating more veggies, but struggle with getting at least 10 servings of greens a day. The easiest way to do it? Add one green smoothie to your daily routine. It automatically increases your daily veggie count, and doing it as a group will help inspire and spur you on!
If green smoothies aren’t your thing, join now anyway, and tell me in the group what new healthy habit you’d like to start for next month’s 7-day challenge. (I’m thinking something along the lines of “daily fitness” however you want to interpret that...)