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  • Writer's picturealliemacs

Creating the habit of starting again.

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

A few friends were recently talking about how the gym rush was slowing down after the new year resolution crowd is slowly weaning off. It got me thinking about what makes people successful or unsuccessful when they start start back up at the gym, or whatever the habit may be that they are trying to form. I came to the idea that we need to create the habit of starting again. Let me explain, starting with a summary of last week.

Last week was a snow week. A - one day of school, all after school activities cancelled, play in the snow, hot chocolate, technology rule OUT THE WINDOW, kind of a shit show week. It was super fun, but I think everyone can agree, some routine was needed for all of us.

The snow is gone this week. Back to it. When I set my alarm for the gym for Monday morning it felt AWFULLY early. I had been staying up late, sleeping in, and being lazy in general. Not to mention all the baking and snacking and maybe some wine (yes, definitely some wine) in there as well. I got up Monday morning, felt tired, but went to the gym anyway and felt great afterwards (duh). Had I thought the night before, "I'll set my alarm and decide when I wake up if I want to go or not, it WOULD NOT happen. Do I FEEL like getting up at 4:45 a.m.? Not particularly. But that time works best for me so I do it, and I keep doing it over and over again.

You gotta get right back up on that horse. It's not my first rodeo. I've fallen out of my routine in so many ways due to a lot of different reasons - injury, illness, fatigue, stress, vacation, sick kids - you name it. And sometimes it's taken me a long time to get back on the horse. But it's happened so many times now, (HERE IT IS) I've actually created the habit of starting again! I'm proud of myself, because it took awhile to create this habit. says "It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic." So when you think of the habit we are talking about (which isn't an every day thing), it could take months, even YEARS to create this habit. The key is to not beat yourself up and to just start back up pretty quick. Tomorrow is better than Monday, Monday is better than February 1st and February 1st is better than January 1st of the following year. Whatever your situation is, do it quicker than you normally would.

Here's some tips that have helped me make these habits successful. (These work for me going in the morning, but you could still apply some of them).

  1. JUST GET THERE. I've NEVER regretted moving, whether it's the gym, yoga, running, a hike. (Ok maybe when I pulled my calf muscle but still ran 2 more miles - I regret that. But mostly, no, I don't regret ever moving.)

  2. Set out your clothes the night before.

  3. Don't decide in the morning if you're going to the gym that day. Decide the night before. It's easy to break plans with yourself when pressing the snooze button is an option. But you've got a date. With yourself (and possibly gym friends).

  4. Set your alarm in a place where you have to get out of your bed. We have an Echo Dot (I could do another whole post on how much I love (and loathe) Alexa) in our master bathroom - so when she goes off, I have to go into the bathroom and say "ALEXA OFF". Just forcing the words out wakes me up a little bit, and it if I say "ALEXA, SNOOZE FOR __ MINUTES" I usually already feel awake after having to talk to her. It takes a lot more effort than rolling over and pressing your snooze button on your phone. I also make sure I set the alarm with just enough time to get ready and make it to my class, that way snoozing her isn't really an option.

  5. When you fall off eating for fuel and moving your body regularly (which you will at some point, as we all do when LIFE happens), DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP. Give yourself some grace. I think it's ok to fall off every once in awhile - it probably means you're enjoying life a little. By all means, enjoy life. But start back up the next day, not the next January 1st.

  6. STRETCH. Whether that's yoga or just warming up pre and post workout - make it a priority. Muscle soreness is normal and it kinda sucks but if you are stretching your body will be so much happier.

  7. Recognize how you feel after a day of moving your body and eating for fuel. Also recognize how you feel when you don't move your body or eat for fuel. General body awareness helps us move forward in the right direction.

  8. Keep healthy snacks around. You know how they say not to go to the grocery store hungry? Well the same goes for your house and car. If I'm starving and the only thing in my car is a pack of gummy bears, I'll probably eat the gummy bears. I like keeping my homemade trail mix or nut butter packs or a Hemplers Landjaeger in the car or in my purse.

  9. Drink a crap ton of water. (It's a word;) More details on hydration (and more) in my last blog post on Vitality.

To wrap it up, instead of making unrealistic resolutions for yourself that you're going to be perfect and not mess up (hello - we are HUMAN), start by beginning to create the habit of STARTING AGAIN when you fall off. It's like a muscle, you'll need to build it.

Next time you fall off...

  1. Don't beat yourself up.

  2. Start right back up.

  3. Know that you're slowly building the habit and that once it's a habit, it'll be easier.

Namaste XOXO


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