Recently I was invited to take part in a 30 days challenge by my mentor Dax Moy. It was all about getting back to your message and start to put it out there to connect with the right people. This came along at the perfect time to help me regain some direction and focus. I’d kind of got a bit complacent and had been coasting along for a while.
It turned out to be a lot of work on re-setting habits. What I learned from this experience was this is the exact same mental journey that most people go through when they start a fitness regime.
Dax compared this to starting a new relationship and how there are 3 main phases:
Phase 1 – You are raring to go, enthusiastic and motivated. You make extra time for the new thing because it’s new, fun and exciting. You’ve decided you’re going to get fit so you put everything into it. (Does this sound familiar?)
Phase 2 – Despondency. The novelty has worn off and disappointment sets in. Life starts to get in the way and you stop putting in the same effort. You make excuses to yourself, start to miss sessions (or prioritise dates!) the small habit changes you were making become less frequent. This is where most people drop off.
Phase 3 – Acceptance. The thing becomes a habit or permanence in your life.
In my recent journey I certainly went through all these stages. I started off so enthusiastic, loving the accountability. One of the things we had to do was daily check in videos in morning and evening, This really works for me because I hate letting other people down.
Then I started to get busy. I fell behind in the tasks, I didn’t want to do the check videos anymore. I could hear myself saying why do I have to do this? I don’t have time for this. Instead of feeling excited about the tasks I was now irritated.
I considered dropping out and spoke to my coach about it. We spoke about how dropping out would bring me no benefit whatsoever so I kept going. I decided I would do as much as I could in the allocated 45 mins per day.
Over the 30 days I learned a lot about this process of starting a ‘new relationship’ and committing to it. Because I didn’t quit and kept going I was able to change my habits. In that 30 days I achieved more than I have in the last 6 months. I managed to fit in 45 mins of work in every day, even when I was busy, even when I didn’t feel like it.
Whether it’s establishing a fitness routine, developing a new relationship or creating any new habit, the problem most people have is they quit before they reach that acceptance phase. They quit somewhere in the middle when it becomes difficult, when the motivation is gone.
When you give up at this stage nothing really changes for you. You haven’t done ‘the thing’ long enough to re-set a habit. You go back to your old patterns – the ones you’ve been doing forever that are very hard wired. Like having a glass of wine after work instead of going to the gym…..
And you don’t feel good about yourself as you didn’t keep your promise to yourself 🙁
Imagine you made yourself the same promise I did? That every day for the next 30 days you gave yourself 45 mins to focus on you. To prioritise working on your body and mind.
What do you think would change by the end of the 30 days?