Making Habits Stick Part 1: What to Expect

Forming new habits can be a complicated process but it can also be an easy process if you approach it the right way. If you go about practicing change correctly, it can and will stick. We tend to get easily sidetracked by unforeseen obstacles. The trick to overcoming these barriers quickly is being aware of what may come and having a game plan for when they do. The following are some of the usual suspects.

Your mind plays tricks on you–
When we are approached by change or when a challenge becomes more difficult, our mind can be quick to tell us that we can’t handle it. Just this morning, while starting my warm-up routine, my mind tried to convince me that I wouldn't be able to complete my workout and that I deserved a break, suggesting that I should take the day off. I can promise you, you will never regret pushing through this resistance.

It slips your mind
The primary goal of practicing new habits is to get to a point where you no longer have to actively think about doing it. In the beginning stages of practicing your new habit, you can and will forget to follow through if you don't have a system in place.

You break the streak
You’ve been doing a great job at staying consistent and getting the job done and then...BOOM. You miss a day! You feel like it’s all over. Everything that you have worked so hard for has been washed down the drain. Clean slate? What clean slate?

You lose the passion
This particular obstacle has been one of the most common that I have noticed. In the beginning, you are on fire! You crush anyone who tries to come in between you and the gym. A few weeks later, you are at happy hour with some of those same people that you had previously crushed.

Traveling, becoming sick or an emergency throws you off
At this point, some other priorities need to be tended to. You tell yourself that you will make up for it or that you will get right back on it later on. But then later never comes.

You get distracted
There’s a new show on Netflix and it’s about to be Binge City! Instagram has you checking in on your favorite celebrities every 5 minutes. The access to incredible content on YouTube couldn’t be easier nowadays. Now,you are stuck trying to decide which is better: the latest episode on Netflix or the less desirable habit of getting to bed earlier.

These are all examples of what can and will get in the way when you are going after your goals. You can lose passion, get distracted, become derailed by travel, you'll forget, break the streak, or you'll start having self-doubt. Next week, I’ll be going over key practices that will help you address each one of these obstacles.