When something is really important, and we know WHY it’s important, we all do it.
Have you sat down and asked yourself “why is this self-care plan important to me?” For example: what will happen to you, your life, and your health & wellbeing if you don’t take care of yourself?
What’s the cost of not following your self-care plan? When we know the consequences (and the pain) of not doing something, it drives us to change.
When I was in burn-out, I knew the cost of not following a self-care plan was very high and I couldn’t afford to be tired all the time. I had a very strong reason to change. What’s yours?
Research has shown that one way to successfully introduce a new habit into our life is by doing it just before, or after, an already existing habit.
For example: I love drinking a cup of green tea every morning as soon as I wake up. It’s a habit I have had for a long time. I don’t even think about it. I just go to the kitchen and turn on my kettle.
Recently I wanted to start meditating every morning, so I used my green tea as a trigger. As soon as I turned the kettle on I would sit and meditate until the water boiled – yes it was just a few minutes but soon that became a habit and I was able to work on extending my meditation (by using activation energy – see strategy #3 below). Step by step is the way to integrating something new into your life and making it stick!
What are some of your existing habits that you can use as a trigger to start your new habits? That’s the best time and place to schedule them into your planner.
One sure way to do anything is to tell yourself that you just need to do it for 5 minutes. This is a very popular trick especially for procrastinators or people who need to do something they don’t feel like doing.
For example: When I was studying I didn’t always have the motivation to work on my assignments on the weekend – especially if the weather was nice!. I would tell myself I just needed to work on my assignment for 5 minutes and then I could go outside… However, 5 minutes soon becomes 10 minutes and 20 minutes etc because of the momentum that kicks in once you have started. It’s called ‘activation energy’ and it just takes 5 minutes to kick in.
So if you are trying to start a new self-care routine that you are struggling with – just start with 5 minutes and let the momentum carry you.