Now that we are a week into January, how are we doing with your New Year’s resolutions? It can be hard to start a new habit or stop a bad habit. One of the reasons is that habits are usually something that we do repeatedly without really thinking about it. It takes time and effort to change those habits. Here are a few things that have helped me when trying to start a new habit.
Start slowly – Try not to make a big, grand change. These usually don’t last. Try starting with one small change. If you do not have a regular movement practice already, thinking you are going to make time for 4-5 hours a week for yoga or the gym is unrealistic. Start with just one or two days a week of yoga or walking. You can always add more days.
Formulate a plan – Come up with the when and where to make the habit happen. What days are you going to attend a yoga class or go for a walk? What time are you going? To say we want to go to a yoga class twice a week is nice, but unless we plan the days and times it is easy to fall back to your pervious routine. If you have a plan, you will know that every Tuesday at 6 pm is your yoga day and it will start to become you new routine.
Track your progress – This keeps us accountable for maintaining the small changes and provides a little reward. If every time you go to a yoga class you put a star on your calendar or give yourself a sticker, you can see your progress. You might begin to look forward to adding that star or sticker to your calendar almost as much as going to the class.
Keep going – Things happen, and we will not be perfect. Perfection is not what we are looking for, we want progress. We only need a tiny bit of progress over time to see and feel the positive changes we are making. So, when you skip that yoga class, don’t quit. Just go to the next class.