Trying To Exercise More? This Might Be The Simple Solution. #3 Is Vital.
Leo Babauta, a simplicity blogger and author, is the creator of ZenHabits.net, a Top 25 Blog rated by Time Magazine.
Here is a wonderful post that explains the common mistakes people make when trying to make a change or implement a habit.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wanting to start running every day, eliminate certain foods from your diet, or even just call your loved ones more often… we feel this advice will really make a difference.
How many times have you read a great article, or had an idea, or wanted to make a change… but then didn’t?
It’s one of the biggest frustrations for people who read this site: people blame themselves for not implementing a plan to change habits.
It takes a switch in gears.
I remember a boatload of times when I’ve been really inspired by something, but then didn’t take action. I wanted to run a marathon, do a triathlon, write a book, start a blog, lose weight, get out of debt, start waking early, simplify my life. But I didn’t actually do anything about it.
I was busy. I was tired. I had other things to do. But those were just excuses.
I learned a few things that worked for me, and within a year or so, I’d done all those things I mentioned above. I took action and made them happen. The excuses got beat.
Here’s what works for me:
Tell someone you’re going to do it. If you just think it in your head, you’re not committed. It won’t happen. Start by getting up and telling someone near you, right now. Or email someone.
Now carve out time. Lots of people actually do step 1 but not this step. You have to make the time. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day — when will you do it? After what part of your regular routine? Even if you don’t have a routine, there are things you do every day: wake up, maybe shower and/or brush your teeth, eat breakfast or lunch, open your computer, get off work or school, go to bed, etc. Put it on your calendar, right away.
Start as small as you can. Most people make the mistake of overcommitting, because they’re so inspired. But you’re less likely to succeed if you say that you’re going to work out an hour a day, or learn a new skill for 2 hours a day. Even 30 minutes a day is too much. Start with 10. Or 5. Or 2, if you’re really busy. You have time for 2 minutes a day.
Really commit. The biggest reason most people fail is they’re not really committed. You tell someone, and you think you’re committed, but you’re not. If you’re really committed, write it on your blog (or start one). Post it on Facebook or Twitter. Tell 100 people about it. Put money on it. Say that you’ll sing in public if you fail. Make people hold you accountable.
Have reminders. It’s easy to forget when you start out. If you want to go for a 10-minute run after you wake up, you need something to make sure you don’t forget: put your running shoes next to your bed or in your doorway, laid out with running clothes. Or sleep in your running clothes. Put up a big sign somewhere you won’t miss it. Use sticky notes, stuck to your computer. Computer and phone reminders are good too.
At the moment when you want to avoid it, pause. There will be a moment (or a bunch of moments) when you think, “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” That’s the moment you have to not let pass idly by. Stop yourself, and just sit there for a moment, not going on your computer, just turning inward. What are you afraid of? What’s stopping you? There is a discomfort you’re trying to avoid. Instead, smile, and start. Do it and enjoy it in the moment. You’ll love it.
Sometimes we make things a lot more complex than we have to. This post is great because it goes back to the basics, and is quite simple (but extremely effective) advice. Share this story and help your friends transform their inspiration into action!