Whether you are pro New Year’s resolutions or take a principled stance against them, you’re probably familiar with the disappointing stats. But the reason 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions drop them by mid-February might surprise you.
It turns out that the problem isn’t with the goals themselves. It’s not that we set unrealistic goals or that we lack the willpower to achieve our goals after the initial burst of motivation wears off. What makes the biggest difference between success and defeat is creating the right process. Otherwise, you’re just wishing and hoping.
This is the case whether you want to find love, break into a new career, or make movement a regular part of your day. So once you’ve set your intention, make a point of creating a process and before you know it your routine will feel automatic.
5 Steps to Build a Conscious Strong™ Movement Habit
If you’re thinking of starting a fitness routine in 2019, but haven’t given much thought to your process, here’s your chance. Feel free to personalize the following step-by-step process and start living the Conscious Strong™ life today!
Step 1: Explore your #1 motivation
Everyone knows the basic benefits of moving your body. There’s the physical stuff, e.g., reducing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and strengthening bones and muscles. And there’s the mental stuff, e.g., feeling happier, having more confidence, and preventing depression and anxiety. But it’s important to explore YOUR motivation if you want to develop a Conscious Strong™ movement habit.
Maybe you want to look great for your daughter’s wedding in May. Maybe you want to hike part of the Appalachian Trail this summer or be able to chase your kids around. Whatever your #1 motivation, keeping this at the top of your mind will keep you moving forward when you feel like quitting.
Think you might forget?
- Journal about your #1 motivation once per week.
- Write it down and post it somewhere special.
- Talk about your #1 motivation with supportive friends.
Now that you have your #1 motivation, it’s time to get moving.
Step 2: Set concrete milestones
A big part of staying motivated is breaking down big goals into smaller steps, so you can really feel your progress. You have probably heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Setting goals this way can help keep you on track and moving forward.
Instead of saying “I want to move more,” try making your goal S.M.A.R.T.er:
- Specific: I will create a walking routine.
- Measurable: I will go for a walk 3 times per week or I will increase my step count to 2,000 steps per day.
- Attainable: I will walk for 15 minutes during my lunch breaks on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Relevant: My walking routine will help me look great for my daughter’s wedding (tie this back to your motivation).
- Time-bound: Stretch yourself by increasing your goal by a certain day each month or if your initial goal is already a stretch, break it down into smaller steps with deadlines.
Step 3: Find your joy
If creating movement isn’t fun for you, you’re much less likely to stick to a daily routine. So don’t be afraid to look for something you enjoy. Finding the class, instructor, or exercise that makes you feel your best can really help make movement a routine.
You might not love the first new thing you try. If you tag along to your friend’s favorite Crossfit class and it’s not for you, that’s okay! With so many options for exercise out there, you’ll find the right one if you just keep shopping around. Don’t get discouraged. Finding the right fit is an important part of the process. And keep your S.M.A.R.T. goal in mind as you try out different ways to move your body.
Step 4: Make it easy on yourself
As important as finding an enjoyable movement routine that is the right fit for you is making your routine fit into your life. If you set a goal to get up and hit the gym before work, but this means getting up before 5am, when you often have a hard time rolling out of bed at 7:30, you probably need to rethink your goal.
Remember, this is not about making yourself into someone you’re not. It’s about figuring out a process that makes your habit feel automatic. So, own who you are. Think about when during your day you are most likely to find time for movement—this doesn’t have to be the same time every day either. Then take steps to make movement a no-brainer. If you miss a day, no biggie. Consider what got in the way and take steps to overcome those obstacles next time.
Step 5: Celebrate in smart ways
As you set your goals and create your process, don’t forget to make celebrating part of your routine. Studies show that the act of celebrating releases endorphins and makes you feel great. So if you don’t take the time to celebrate the milestones along the way to your goal, you’re actually depriving yourself of an important feeling that also reinforces your positive behavior.
But, again, don’t forget about your S.M.A.R.T. goal. A celebration that runs counter to your #1 motivation is not a smart way to celebrate your success. So, for example, don’t celebrate losing 20 lbs in January by eating a decadent meal at the Cheesecake Factory in February. Instead, treat yourself to a massage or a new pair of shoes.
There you have it, your blueprint for creating a process to build Conscious Strong™ movement in 2019. We’re excited to launch new videos to help further your movement goals as well. So stay tuned!