Creating a good habit such as exercise or check your blood sugar is extremely difficult. However if you learn the secret it doesn’t have to be. I learned this first hand this challenge when I started my treadmill regiment every morning. I would start the habit do it for a week or so and stop because other things got in the way. Then I learned the secret to forming new habits from a podcast. The answer is to do it for 21 days straight and make yourself. For me I put 21 days on my market board and crossed them off as I went. If I stopped I told myself I would have to erase the whole thing and start fresh at 1. That seemed like enough of a deterrent for me early on.
What I found over that 21 days as I consciously watched my thoughts and changes in thinking surprised me. The first week I was excited and ready to go loved the idea and no problem waking up and jumping on the treadmill. The excitement of something new that would help me was turbo charging me. The second week is where problems started to come in, I was thinking, do I really want to do this? Maybe I should stop just this time. And I recognized this as simply my body’s defense mechanisms challenging my lifestyle change to decide if it really is something I wanted. For one reason or another any change your body fights to you have to consciously make that change a part of you. I think this is to protect yourself.
I pressed on and forced myself. Sometimes coaxing myself to just go stand by the treadmill, then maybe we will just stand on it, maybe just use it for a short period of time. Next thing you know I’m on it doing what I should be doing. In some cases where something really did interfere rather then not doing it at all I let me self do a little less that day and made up for it another day. Stopping for any reasons was like a death sentence for the new habit so I had to keep it going whatever it took.
About the middle of the third week was when acceptance sank it, I recognized that this was just how it was going to be and part of who I am now. So it became as typical as anything else I did so my mind stopped fighting it. I still haven’t missed a day, though some days may be a shorter episode if time really won’t allow my routine that day, but I’m always on it so I don’t give up that habit. Now I think I would feel odd without doing it. Exercise added into my life certainly helped me feel better, more energetic, and happier.
Now I challenge you to think about your goals. What have you really wanted to do? Start today and make it a 21 days program for each habit, and only learn one habit at a time. Once you make it through 21 days it will be a lot easier, can you push yourself to be happier? When my blood sugars were out of control and exercise was only going from building to car and back it was hard to find the source of my unhappiness. It seemed like the world conspired to get me. Once I conquered my blood sugars I found that not feeling well from high blood sugar was why I was unhappy and not exercising is why I was tired all the time.
Pick you first habit and give this technique a shot.