‘Motivation is what gets you started; habit is what keeps you going’
It took me a while to figure this one out: unless you enjoy something, you won’t stick with it. I talk about this with particular regards to exercise. For a good few years I tried to stick with habits that, yeah, at first motivation carried me through, but eventually failed due to one simple thing: I hated them.
When you’re making some changes in life you have to ask yourself:
a) Do I enjoy this?
b) Can I see myself doing this 5 weeks from now?
If the answer is an emphatic ‘yes!’ to both of these things then go ahead and make those changes- you’re on the way to forming great habits. If the answer is ‘no…’ then ditch them: find something that works for you. Don’t give up, but just try something else. Can’t face the idea of cardio combat, but live for Zumba? Then cancel the first class and go with the second! Or even do the reverse: it’s completely up to you. Same goes for eating habits: can you live off of 500kcal per day for the rest of your life? No, of course not. 2000kcal of healthy food, with some treats thrown in there? Probably the answer is yes. If you can’t stand sweet potatoes, but love regular potatoes, then don’t force yourself to eat the former, purely because you feel like you should.
I think that I’ve realised this more so in the last couple of weeks than any other time in my life. I’ll be writing some more in-depth posts on it, but due to work, uni, socialising, and the gym occupying and vying for my time, it’s been important that I spend that time only doing the things that truly appeal to me. I can’t work out every day, but can stick with the healthy habit of three times minimum per week. I can’t be booking exercise classes I don’t adore anymore, because I simply don’t have time. I’ve also realised over the years that it’s impossible to survive on less than 1800kcal in my busy life, impossible to cut out cake and sweet potato fries, and impossible to get up mega early every single morning just to fit in a workout, when sleep and getting up at 7am would benefit me more .
Forming habits is what will help you reach your goal, and those habits rely on you being passionate about upholding them. So, what habits can you make that you can stick with realistically? Make a little list, and pin it up somewhere you see it every day. That list might change, that’s fine, just make sure those habits are right for you.