The saying goes, "If it was easy, everyone would do it." Which is probably why not everyone is setting a run streak, training for a triathlon, or setting PR's in the gym. But you're not everyone. And you're chasing after big goals.
...until the 5 AM alarm goes off on Monday morning and your cozy bed beckons for you to just press snooze and forget about that sweat session. Hey, we're only human! And motivation and habit building is something that takes work, patience, and a little bit of grace for those human moments in life.
We could look to Serena Williams, Shalane Flanagan, or Elon Musk and pick apart their daily habits to try and pinpoint what exactly makes them so successful/nearly superhuman. Or we could talk about you -- a real human with realities of life that sneak up.
First we have to tackle the WHY of habit building: AKA why is it so hard to change or build a habit? Making change takes effort, and adding in one more thing to an already set pattern of habits can throw everything off kilter. The good thing is, the brain is malleable and can adapt. We just have to throw a few tricks its way.
Go for the reward: Reward yourself for stringing together a week of your new habit. Waking up a 5 AM to swim five days a week isn't so bad when there's a latte on the line. A habit doesn't have to be exercise-based. Reward yourself for protecting your skin and putting on sunscreen everyday.
Visualize it: Bullet journals, habit trackers, sticky notes, calendars, a phone app - there's no shortage of ways to visually track and show how you're building a new habit. There's something oh-so-sweet about seeing a row of boxes checked off to prove to yourself that you did the dang thing.
Phone a friend: Accountability keeps us in line in other facets of life, why not with habits and motivation? Plus, working out with a buddy is just more fun.
Give yourself grace: Sometimes a work deadline pops up, kids get sick, or a world pandemic strikes and we miss a day or two of working out. Don't beat yourself up. All is not lost and your habit-building is still going strong. Take a beat. Regroup. Indulge in some extra recovery time and pull out your favorite recovery aid. Then get back at it the next day.
Celebrate success: There will come a time when your habit becomes routine. And that is cause for celebration. You gave your brain a workout, challenged what's possible, and made something happen. Take a moment to be proud of yourself and reflect on how you built this habit. More than likely it was a culmination of time, effort, and some superhuman strength to keep pushing.
We can't wait to see what habits you build, feats you tackle, and successes you celebrate! Don't forget to take your Zealios with you on the journey!