We all have things we would like to change. These changes can be small – maybe you want to start cooking more meals from scratch, figure out how to get rid of chapped lips and dry, sensitive skin, or hit the gym at least twice a week. But these changes, as simple as they might sound at first, can be hard to maintain. In order to make your new diet or lifestyle routine a success, it’s important to mentally prepare yourself before you begin. Read on to find out how!
Whether you believe that it takes 21 days or two months to form a new habit, the message is clear: It will get hard before it gets easier again. Your new routine, whatever that may be – a yoga class before work, moisturizing your body after a shower, preparing your lunch in advance – will feel like a chore at first. You will forget about it, you might dread it for a while, and it might not feel natural to you at all. But don’t be too hard on yourself – the important thing is to stick with it, remind yourself why you are doing it, and tell yourself that new habits don’t happen overnight.
In order to succeed, you will need to plan ahead. Write down your goals; find out how you will get there, and what exactly you will need to do so. For example, if your goal is to turn your dry, sensitive skin into smooth, glowing skin, it’s important to do your research. Find out how to get rid of chapped lips or dry skin, then figure out what you need – what do you need to purchase before you can get started? What DIY solutions can help you get there? Writing things down can help you keep track and plan for success. If, for example, you want to start eating healthily, you will need to find out what eating healthy actually means and research some recipes that are easy to make. You will then be able to compile these recipes into a meal plan for your week, and then break down this meal plan into a shopping list. Planning ahead is vital, and this can apply to a new diet or skincare routine as much as it applies to a workout.
Ease yourself into it
This one is probably a no brainer, but many people still make this rookie mistake. They feel super motivated at first and promise themselves to go to the gym at least four days a week. What happens? They make it to the gym just twice. Although this is is still a great success – especially if they never usually go at all – because they were expecting so much more, it will feel like a failure. And naturally, if you feel like a failure, it will be much more difficult to stay motivated. This is why it’s important to ease yourself into a new routine or a lifestyle change step by step. Adjusting your expectations is necessary sometimes, but it’s better to start small and then slowly work your way up. That way, you never feel disappointed in yourself! If you are planningon changing your diet, then start by aiming to replace regular pasta and bread with a wholegrain alternative. Once you have managed to eliminate refined grains, and notice how simple that was and how much better you are feeling, you can slowly work your way up from there.
Commit to a new habit early
Finally,try making the commitment to change in advance. And remember that commitment comes in different forms. It can mean signing up for a workout class that you have to pay for in advance (you will not want to miss that circuit class or the Pilates session if you’ve already paid for it). Or it can mean teaming up with a friend and planning your diet change together – go shopping, share recipes, and update each other about your progress. A little competition always helps, too, so it never hurts to have a workout buddy. In terms of a healthy diet, committingcould also mean buying healthy snacks in advance. With all those carrots in your fridge and plenty of nuts and dried fruits handy, won’t you feel guilty snacking on a chocolate bar and crisps?
Remember that changing your routine for the better is something you are doing for you – nobody else. Whether it’s figuring out how to get rid of chapped lips or learning how to cook healthy & nutritious meals – maintaining a healthy new habit is one of the most powerful and satisfying feelings there is.