For the last few months I have been attending a Pilates class on Thursday mornings before I go to work. I absolutely LOVE this class and I always feel fit and re-energized afterwards. Shout out to the teacher Jenny who by the way always has great playlists. It’s always good to start your day with some good tunes.
You may have noticed that I didn’t say I go EVERY Thursday… because, I don’t. Sometimes things get in the way. A work meeting might conflict or a more likely scenario is that I go to bed too late, my toddler wakes me up too early, and I just can’t muster the energy or motivation to go. Let’s be honest, that’s the reality. However, more recently because of lack of sleep and some travel I missed 4 weeks in a row and honestly, I was almost a little embarrassed to go back. I was thinking, “What’s the point of going? I can’t stick to anything anyway!” But, the stars aligned, the kid woke up at a humane hour, and I made it back to class. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot I felt this great sense of relief and this thought popped into my head. “You can always come back. No matter how long you’ve been away, you can always come back. Come back to taking care of yourself, to doing things for yourself, to putting yourself first.”
Once you’ve gotten away from a habit or practice it can feel really hard to get back to it. It feels like we’re trying to jump onto a moving train… we’re running and running but just can’t quite make the leap.
But here’s the key, it just FEELS like that. Getting back to a habit or practice isn’t really that hard. We just tell ourselves it is. And the longer we wait the more complacent we become, then we really start making excuses why that THING wasn’t really working for us, the class was at a bad time, we weren’t good at it, excuse, excuse, excuse…and then we lose the train altogether.
If there’s something you want to get back to make the commitment THIS week to do it. Now, if you’re like me you need a little more of a kick in the pants. Here’s three steps to come back to your habit or practice….
#1 - Choose ONE thing you want to come back to.
Just ONE, and keep it simple! Maybe it’s going back to that weekly class, taking a short daily walk, drinking more water, or packing your lunch two times this week. It could be going to bed a little earlier or getting up a bit earlier in the morning, maybe even just 10 minutes earlier.
Now, there is an important rule you MUST follow when picking your ONE thing. It has to be something that is actually helpful to you! Sometimes we stop doing certain habits or practices because they really just didn’t work. Or, don’t work for us at that particular moment or tie. So, be honest with yourself and pick something you really WANT to do, not something you think you SHOULD do. You’re more likely to stick with it if you WANT to do it.
#2 - Plan WHEN you’re going to come back to it.
Ideally sooner than later, so I would suggest you pick a day this week to get started. If it’s a class or activity (this is obvious) - get online, find the class or schedule, and put it on your calendar. If it’s a more personal habit like taking a daily walk for example look at your calendar and pick a day this week that you can realistically make that happen. And then, put it on your calendar!
#3 - Get SUPPORT!
We all need support in one way or another to take care of ourselves - it could be in the form of encouragement, someone holding you accountable, or literally taking some of your responsibility to free you up. When I do make it to Pilates class, my mom watches my daughter for me. She frees me up to take the 1 hour class. If you need encouragement or accountability tell someone about what you’re trying to do - they can support you or maybe they’ll even join you!
Support could also be getting some item you need in order to make the habit or practice successful. If you need a membership to take the classes that can be the ONE thing you do this week. If you are trying to drink more water, then dig the water bottle out of your cabinet asap. Or, buy one you’re certain you will use. Get the things in place that will make sure that the habit or practice you’re getting back to is successful.
Now, after all this I’m going to be honest with you….I have something that was going pretty well but I got away from it, and I want to come back to it. A few times a week I was taking a few minutes in the morning to use the Headspace app to meditate. It wasn’t a daily practice and I certainly am not great at it. But, I did pay for it and honestly, it’s been a few months since I’ve used it. So, I’m going to start tomorrow morning and I will use the app 3 times this week. That’s it. If I do more, great. But three times feels VERY doable. My support is going to be that I will be adding it to my calendar on three specific days. Choosing specific days will help keep me on track and I think I’ll be less likely to keep pushing it off.
So, there you have it. Now you know three ways you can come back to your practices and habits. Because just you’ve stopped doesn’t meant they’re gone forever.
You can come back to them.
We want to hear from YOU! What habit or practice do you want to get back to and how does it help you? Or what habit or practice have you stuck with pretty regularly that has made an impact on you?
Share your comments below.