4 areas you must create a routine around: Money Management, Diet, Exercise, Self-Care. Create sustainable approaches to these as habits. No more wrestling with yourself to make the best choice for the goals you want to achieve.
Not saving money, managing it. That means using it to your advantage. That means expecting a return on the investments you make. That means gaining capability with every purchase.
A written budget, balance checkbook, or review of the months receipts can do the trick. The point is that you are aware and actively managing your income and expenses at least monthly. For many, the frequency will be bi-weekly corresponding with pay periods. For me it’s every light turned off in the house and every increase in stock price.
Not deprivation and cheat days. I’m talking about a consistent nutrition plan that is a lifestyle. You health prognosis can be determined by what you have in your refrigerator and cupboards. Diet as lifestyle means that items that don’t fit your. Health goals do not reside in your space.
Think vegetarianism. You don’t have to become one, but a vegetarian doesn’t have cheat days. It’s a choice to have only a certain menu. Structure that menu for nutrition, health, and satisfaction. I chose vegetarianism. But, I also chose to oil-free cook our favorite food (French fries), and buy (and refill) 1 liter water bottles (instead of smaller ones). Both communicate health to me without having to ponder or deprive myself.
It doesn’t matter as long as you are consistent. You could lie down in bed and get out of bed. Three sets. Twelve reps. AND do it every morning. It is the consistency that makes the difference.
We know from behavioral research that, to make it consistent, we have to make it convenient, easy, and fun. Select an exercise that you can get out of bed and do naked. Select something that is simple, yet yields results. Squatting, chair dips, lift the baby…so many exist. Select something you feel great after doing. My choice is stationary bike. I am writing this while riding one now!
Most of us self-medicate in some way. Many of us utilize unsustainable methods. You know when a method is unsustainable because it results in greater stress or the price to pay is higher than you would like.
Self-care is virtually the same as self-medication, but self-care can be more proactive. It can be taking care I yourself so that things don’t overwhelm or deplete your patience stores. Find something that feeds you on an emotional and mental level. Make time to engage in the activity at least weekly. Add something to your routine even beyond exercise. See something beyond you. Find an activity that helps you transcend the current situation. Resolve more ready to face challenges head on knowing the end result will be in your favor. One of my choices is bubble baths in the jacuzzi tub. If I’m really setting the environment, I add Bomb Therapy and candles. (Yes!)
- Do it daily or at least 4 times per week. Each day that you don’t do it, you diminish your routine.
- Focus on consistency rather than Mood. Focusing on craving will get you rationalizing old habits.
- Find benefit in the routine. It will become habit over time, but it will also need to be satisfying.
- Resist the easy way. Once the satisfaction is conditioned, your old habits can still be seen as easy ways to achieve the same result. This will require will power and the insistence upon your chosen method to achieve the satisfaction.
- Have a accountability partner. The person is not just a reminder and nag. It is a person to express the challenge to and receive encouragement that you can overcome. It is also a person that can suggest alternatives or redirects for your attention.
- Write. There just is no other more reinforcing activity than to put your thoughts on paper. As useful as it is to engage in the activity of writing, it is even more inspirational to read past entries.
- Share. The journey has the greatest impact on others. Sharing the pain, the relapses, and the triumphs still appear instructive to the onlooker. It benefits you with a modicum of accountability, but it has the potential to be the original breakthrough for someone else.