Happy August! Can you believe we’re already halfway through summer? Soon we’ll be trading in our barbecues, swimming, and sandals for pumpkin spice lattes, holiday shopping, and boots! And, personally, I can’t wait! Summer is always a kind of free-for-all season. Despite no longer having summer breaks, it still feels like a long stretch of time meant for fun, sleeping in, and vacations. So, why keep to our routines?
Which brings us to our theme this month: Healthy Habits! In the next four weeks, we’re going to tackle some great habits that we can incorporate into our own lives. But for now, let’s think about our current routines. Has summer completely destroyed them yet? I know, for me, January through April I’m motivated to stick with the waking up earlier, reading daily, and whatever else I’d like to make a habit. But things turn hazy in May. Warmer days and the muscle memory of summer vacation after school justify my loosening of the reins. And before I know it, it’s June, July, August, and my life is a disorganized jumble!
Has this happened to you? What can we do about it?
The first step is recognizing our patterns. For example, I know in the middle of June that I don’t want to wake up at 6 am to walk anymore when it’s already muggy and hot outside. To change this, I need to make this the one habit I’m going to focus on. When we overload ourselves with multiple “problems” we want to solve, we can lose motivation quickly. We only have so much willpower; best to direct it all onto one thing at a time!
Now, that I know I want to work on my morning walking habit, I’m going to connect this habit with something I always do (no matter the time of year). This could be: “After I make my bed, I’m going to walk.” That way I have some kind of accountability for the new change I want to make. It becomes part of my normal making the bed routine. And don’t forget to start small! Baby steps are key. One week I can say, “After making my bed, I’ll walk 5 minutes” then the next week I can up it to ten minutes. Keep everything manageable and simple.
Finally, create alternative solutions for obstacles. Some days it’ll probably be raining when I need to go outside. But, I can adjust my schedule to walking around my office building instead or going to the gym. Honestly, this one trips me up the most. I’m a great rationalizer; so, if it’s raining, it’s way too easy for me to justify skipping a day. But having set backup plans helps keep you on track. You already know what you’re going to do, so there’s really no excuse for not doing it!
Hopefully, this encourages you to start thinking about what you can accomplish this month! Do you already know what you want to start working on? Let us know! We’d love to hear how you’re doing and if we can help!
PS. If you’re one of the lucky few who has no problem sticking with a schedule-- rain or shine-- we salute you! Keep up the good work!