A few months ago I got sick, and I stopped working out. At first, I was too sick to work out; then I thought I’d give my body a little extra rest and skip a few days. Then two months went by and I hadn’t worked out, not even once.
But that’s not all. When I stopped working out, I stopped paying attention to what I ate. And I started staying up late, eating junk and not checking my tickler file. When I lost my self-discipline in one area of my life, it flooded into other areas.
The accomplished woman knows how to establish good habits, and to re-establish them when needed. It’s okay to take a break, but you need to know how to bounce back to avoid an ugly downward spiral.
Do you need to bounce back? Here’s what you need to know:
Lower the bar by setting a small goal.
You need a small success to help you get back on track. A few easy accomplishments will get the ball rolling. You’re trying to gain a foothold, not conquer the world. So set a bite-sized goal–and hit it. Don’t try and run a marathon (yet). Decide to run a block every day.
Small goals are easy to achieve, but have a huge spillover effect.
Running a block every day may not seem like a big deal, but here’s what it shows you: You are the kind of person who runs a block every day. You are the kind of person who follows through. You are self-disciplined, and healthy, and consistent. These are character traits that cascade into other areas of your life.
Self-discipline begets self-discipline.
If I can (re)establish one good habit, my character becomes more disciplined. When faced with other challenges, I respond as a disciplined person–even without trying! A few weeks of disciplined physical exercise and I’m going to bed earlier and eating healthier without even thinking about it, because self-discipline snowballs.
A life is made up of habits.
The things we repeatedly do are our habits, and they make us who we are. One of Gretchen Rubin’s Secrets of Adulthood is “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”
So pay close attention to what you do–and don’t do–repeatedly.
Get back in the groove
It’s okay to fall out of routine–but you have to know how to bounce back. And then, you have to do it!
Do you need to bounce back? What habits need re-establishing in your life?