The complaint, we often hear is, how we give up our new habits so easily!!!
It has been said that it takes 21 days of practice to stick to a habit. However, I am not a firm believer of it. Each new habit needs more time to get ingrained on our mind.
I have been trying to build up an exercise habit in my schedule. Till now, I am struggling to make it a daily habit. If you remember, I am doing a 90-day challenge for exercise; even then, I am struggling to do it every day. Sometimes, I simply don’t feel like doing it. I know how rewarding it would be to do exercise daily. Even then, I refuse to do it. I don’t do it with an ease. Where am I failing?
Below are few reasons on why I struggled while forming the habits.
Too much of decision-making
When we build a new habit, it is essential that we need to eliminate the decisions that we have to make every day if we should sustain the habit. Otherwise, we will drain our energy and willpower in the decision making itself, leaving us with nil energy to actually do something about our habits.
For example, when I started to exercise, I don’t know what to do, but I want to reduce my weight and stay fit. I don’t know what exercise I should do, how long to do and when to change the exercise routine etc…
Every day when I attempt to workout, my mind will start throwing these questions and I would end up searching answers for it instead of doing the workout.
Too much of decision making can completely derail your intention to start any new habit.
My advice is to have a proper plan before you set out to work on that habit.
Too many changes at a time
Often we fail in a new habit mainly because we over-fill our plate out of enthusiasm. That’s why I couldn’t keep up with my exercise habit. I have been keeping myself busy with so many activities. They all are part of life-long habits that I want to build.
So, I get easily exhausted. Hence exercise seems to be a daunting task now. There are simply too many things that need my focus and attention and I couldn’t cope up with all.
Also, exercise is a physically demanding activity, so I find it very hard to sustain the habit each day.
I worked out sincerely for a month and my weighing scale didn’t drop a bit. That’s another factor which lowered my enthusiasm towards exercise.
I am demotivated. Demotivation is very hard to get through when you intend to build habits. While you are demotivated, you deplete your willpower at an alarming rate. This will make you feel tired, stressed out and exhausted.
So whenever you begin a habit, be patient. Don’t try to get succeed overnight. Don’t expect results soon. It won’t work that way. Results will show up late. Drop the expectations and just do your work.
Lack of goal
Sometimes we begin a habit out of excitement and momentary motivation, but later we struggle to continue the momentum once the excitement wears off.
This is mainly because we don’t have a proper goal to justify our habit.
A goal defines the purpose of your habit. If you have a goal, you can always remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place.
If I have no goal to reduce my weight, what will I do on days when I don’t want to wake up early and do my exercise?
Most obviously I would want to sleep on the bed telling some excuses. Have a goal that clearly tells why you want to form a particular habit. This will keep you focused and help you to accomplish the task which you set out to do.
Giving up on the habit instead of changing the process
Sometimes we fail to stick to a habit in spite of sincere efforts to retain it.
The first failure will most likely make you quit the habit instead of analysing why we failed and what are the things we need to improve in order to succeed.
If we can’t succeed in forming a habit, we need to figure out alternate plans to achieve it. If you fail on a habit, it only means the way you want to build that habit could be wrong. Take time and think. How can you change your tasks so you can stick to this habit?
Habits are hard to form. We should be willing to keep trying till we make it part of each day routine. Overnight results won’t happen. Be patient. If you are failing to create new habits, see if you are making any of the above mistakes. It will give you leads on your trouble spot.
After making improvements in the above five area, I am able to engage once again with my workout routines. It will take more time to get into a rhythm in order to do this without difficulty. I should not give up till then.