It’s the New Year and our resolutions are fresh and fancy. Most of us have great ambitions and great intentions but we fall desperately short of our aspirations. As a gym owner, I see firsthand how difficult it is for most people to reach their goals, even though everyone starts with good intentions.
After working with countless women from all different walks of life, I have come to believe that a key factor is overlooked when creating a new habit, namely the psychological component. Many people underestimate the willpower, mental dexterity, and important self-talk that go into the arduous undertaking of a new habit.
What can you do to set yourself up for success?
Psyche yourself up – Day one is never hard. It’s usually on day five or six that reality sets in. Remember that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, so be prepared of the hard work ahead of you, and be prepared mentally to push through those hard days.
Feed yourself positive thoughts – Your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between fantasy and reality so it’s important to tell yourself good things, even if you don’t feel it. Try making a list and taping it to your mirror to recite to yourself each day.
Get a good night’s sleep – I cannot overemphasize the importance of a good night’s sleep. It is hard to find energy to be positive and make changes when you are tired. If sleep eludes you, head to the health store for some natural help. Chances are something in your body is out of balance.
Never quit on a bad day – If you make yourself the promise to never give up when you have a bad day, you will automatically be more successful. If today was hard and makes you want to give up, chances are after a good night’s sleep your resolve will be renewed.
Excuses are always just excuses – Whether legit or not, they are still excuses. Don’t hide behind them.
Be prepared – This is probably the most important step. If you are trying to quit smoking, have a plan in case you find yourself in the company of smokers; if you are losing weight, pack healthy snacks so you don’t find yourself weak-willed while passing your favourite fast food chain. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan you plan to fail.
Best of luck in your resolution, and above all remember to be kind to yourself. You are human and chances are you’ll mess up. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and remind yourself that you’re worth all this hard work.
Lynae Morningstar is co-owner of Curves fitness centre for women in Sarnia