We are coming upon a new year, which is always such a great time to reflect, and find ways to make a new start.
Resolutions are exciting thing to think about, no doubt; Most of us have a few goals rolling in our heads as the transition from the past year moves us forward to the next.
We as humans – alongside nature – develop and exist in cycles, so starting a fresh cycle is always invigorating and maybe even motivating. January 1st can be a transformative day and the dopamine rush from our plans and internal hopes always makes us feel good!
Many of us go bounding into a New Year with high hopes that we will get closer to the lifestyle (and maybe even person) that we would like to become. Yet, that wide-eyed optimism only tends to last for so long, until many of us find ourselves slipping back into familiar habits ... our new goals disappear into the background.
So how do we go about making sure that our aspirations for a life more fully lived continues once the excitement gives way to the reality of the hard work that needs to be done to ensure a lasting commitment? Here are a few tips to make sure that our intentions become habits and our goals for our new life become a reality.
FIND YOUR TRIBE & YOUR ROLE
One of the best things about belonging to a community like Awaken Gym in Denver, is that you have a built-in support system. A good way to ensure that you will show up is to make plans with your team, or tribe. Arranging a car pool system or a coffee or lunch date after class is a great way to give you that extra push to show up on days that you might be trying to talk yourself out of going. It is also really rewarding to be there when one of your workout buddies does something new for the first time or vice versa. Recognizing your role in the team dynamic is a powerful motivator. Imagine their faces when you are having trouble getting out of bed :)
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Sometimes getting out of bed is truly the hardest part, but there are a few things that you can do to make it a little easier. We always want to give ourselves the maximum amount of sleep, but setting your alarm to give yourself the least amount of time possible to be properly ready is detrimental. Giving yourself time to shower, meditate, drink coffee, journal or just think about the kind of workout that you would like to have sets up a calm internal environment that is more likely to continue throughout the day. Creating this kind of routine also ensures a greater success in building a lasting habit, especially if you start bundling certain behaviors together. The more steps there are in your morning routine, the more likely you are to stick to it.
(Random pro tip from yours truly: On those super cold mornings I put my workout clothes at the foot of my bed with me so that they are warm and I change right there in bed. That way when I stand up, I am already dressed and ready to go!)
RE-CREATE YOUR KEYSTONE HABITS
Changing our habits is generally the hardest part of changing our behavior. Habits exist because they are where we find comfort, simplicity and pleasure, which can be a positive or negative thing. The goal is to try to find this ease and pleasantry in our new routines. A good way to do this is to change your keystone habits, which are the fundamental goals that will make the smaller changes easier. By naming long term goal such as, “I want to live a long and healthy life,” the short term goals become easier to get done.
Another helpful tactic is to change our definition of success. No one can be great every day, and you can’t let unrealistic goals make you feel as if you did poorly even if you made an effort. Even if you had planned that you would go to the gym five days and you went three, be proud of the three, not disappointed about the two that you missed. Make exercise and taking care of yourself something to be proud of, and the more positive associations you can create, the more enjoyable it will be.
Changes are made with slow, steady work, patience and perseverance. Remember to look for your team when you need a boost and to not give up when reality doesn’t match up to your vision. You have the capacity to achieve anything that you set your mind to, and you have all the support and tools that you need right here at Awaken.
* Photos by Rebecca Christine Photography.