Creating good habits during your Challenge, or anytime in life, is one big step you should be proud of. Maintaining those habits and incorporating them into your everyday life is another step so many of us struggle with.
Luckily, our Mindset Coach, Alexis, is here to share valuable guidance on finding a way to keep up all of your hard work and habits beyond any Challenge or new chapter.
Great job in finishing the Challenge! You should be so proud of yourself.
Now that your Challenge is done, it's so important to not let all your hard work go to waste. The next step to maintaining long-lasting habits is finding a happy medium so that your new lifestyle can be sustainable.
The good news is, after doing something consistently for over 6-8 weeks you have created positive habits which will be so much less of an effort than they were in the first week.
What you need to do now to not let the ball drop is check in on yourself and do a bit of an inventory. Prevention is always easier than a cure.
So let's begin!
MAKE A LIST OF YOUR 'WEAKNESSES' & COMPROMISE
Firstly, identify all the areas that you still find difficult — something you never felt became a habit during the Challenge.
Is it eating well?
Is it not going out to eat anymore?
Or getting up early to train?
What are the main things that are weighing you down?
Now compare this to your old life (pre-Challenge), and ask yourself how often you did or didn’t do these things? The reason for doing this is that you want to compromise with yourself, and find the happy medium.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- "I used to sleep in every morning and now I have to wake up at 6am every day and I hate it"
You could compromise where you wake up early three mornings a day and the other two days you can be less strict on what time you train, or even make your sessions a bit shorter.
- "I used to go out and eat with my friends 4 nights a week and now I don’t do any of that and I miss it"
Instead of not going out at all, pick two nights a week to go out and eat something beforehand. You won't be so hungry, meaning you'll be more controlled with what you eat, and you'll also get that downtime balance to allow yourself to have a few drinks on these nights.
It’s all about finding a happy medium between the things you enjoy in your life and the things that are beneficial for your health journey. There's no point cutting out all the fun, that's when people see no end in sight, aren't able to sustain their changes and go back to old habits.
If you can have the best of both worlds then you'll be able to live your new lifestyle indefinitely. If you make yourself suffer by withholding the fun things, then that's where the yo-yo dieting, quitting and restarting again and again begins.
CREATE CONSISTENT RITUALS
The more you can turn something into a ritual the more likely it is to stick. The brain LOVES consistency so give it that, and it will reward you with doing what you ask of it without putting up a fight. But the brain will protest against discomfort or trying something new in the beginning. That’s why it always feels so hard.
We need to re-direct how the brain perceives these tasks.
Try and create a morning and an evening ritual that's exactly the same (for at least 5 mornings a week) — from waking up, to your morning coffee, mediating or reading, and working out, cooking, eating or stretching.
Whatever it is that you want to get done, do it in the EXACT same order every time, and try and time it so you're performing each step at the same time each day.
This will turn each chore into a game, where everything slots into place each day and you feel a sense of accomplishment when your ritual or routine is done, and the day has only just begun!
If you can start each day this way, you can get into an action-focused mindset and even the most mundane tasks, like making your bed (when done habitually), will give you a sense of purpose. This will be the drive you need to make these habits a permanent thing in your life, not just something you did during your Challenge.
Try and implement both of these tips after the Challenge. You'll find that if you can do this, then the next time you participate in a Challenge it'll feel way more achievable.
I hope to see you on the next Challenge!
Mindset Coach, Alexis