Over the weekend, I read The Real Reason You Can’t Quit Diet Coke, Ditch the Junk Food, or Get to Bed on Time by Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy. Here’s a little of what she says:
Have you ever resolved to drop a bad habit–and failed? I have. And I’m not alone.
You may decide you need to drop a bad habit, but it’s hard to just QUIT doing something. You may be committed to change, and have fabulous intentions–but you still struggle to follow through. Why?
It’s because people typically set themselves up to lose.
To be successful, you have to replace a negative habit with a positive one. So instead of resolving to “stop eating junk” you have to “choose healthy snacks” instead. This isn’t just a question of semantics: it’s a powerful–and overlooked–difference.
This is so true — especially when it comes to making the most of your mornings. If your normal course of action for the last five years has been sleeping in until the last minute each morning and then running around in a crazy chaotic mess trying to get everything done and yourself out the door on time, telling yourself that from now on you’re going to wake up early and get a bunch of extra things done in the morning is probably setting yourself up for failure.
No matter how strong your resolve is, determination alone is probably not going to be enough for long-term success.
Don’t get me wrong; commitment is the first step. But it’s just that — the first step. If all you ever do is commit to change, I’m proud of you for your drive and desire to change, but I want you to see long-term success in the goals you set. So you’ve got to take it a step farther and stop focusing on what you’re giving up and instead focus on the good habits you are resolving to instill in your life.
Create Your Game Plan for Success
Once you’ve determined what areas you need and want to change, pick the most important areas — those that are going to make the biggest difference in your overall life, sanity, and fulfillment. Start with those and come up with a specific plan for the good habits you are going to focus on implementing in your life.
For instance, if you want to make getting up by 6 a.m. a reality, plan to have everything done for the day by 8 p.m. or earlier so that you can wind down, get ready for bed, and get to bed at a decent hour. In addition, figure out what things you love to wake up to in the morning and implement those as part of your morning.
Maybe you love a good cup of coffee with special creamer and classical music playing in the background. Buy the special creamer, set the coffeemaker to turn on right before you wake up, and set your alarm to play classical music beginning at 6:05 a.m. By doing these things, you’re helping yourself succeed — and making it a whole lot easier to get up in the morning.
My Game Plan for Getting Out of My Workout Clothes Each Morning
Last Friday, I confessed that I’ve been struggling with making time for getting a shower and getting out of my workout clothes in the morning. For some of you, I am sure this seemed beyond bizarre that I can’t get my act together in this simple area, but you all were so gracious to give me such helpful suggestions and practical ideas. I spent the weekend mulling over things and devising a plan.
Here’s what I came up with:
1) I Declare That From This Day Forth Wearing Pajamas or Workout Clothes Past 9 a.m. is Not An Option
There, I made a personal declaration and you can hold me to it. You have my permission to email me, text me, call me, or drop by to see if I’m living up to this. 🙂
2) I Will Stop Working Out at 7:00 a.m. in Order to Take a Shower
I realized that one of the problems was that I was feeling like I had to always complete the full P90X workout every single day — even if we hadn’t started it until later than planned. Often, this was throwing off my whole morning since once we were finished working out, there was no time for a shower before I needed to jump into our morning chores and homeschooling.
3) I Will Lay Out My Clothes I Love to Wear Every Night Before Bed
I was already laying out clothes as part of my Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s (not that I was ever changing into them, but…), however, I realized that I was mostly choosing outfits that I’ve worn so many times I wasn’t really excited about putting them on. I was inspired by some of you to consider sprucing up my wardrobe a bit to make getting dressed in the morning a little more fun.
4) As Soon As I’m Showered and Dressed, I Get to Have My Morning Coffee.
I love my morning coffee. It’s my cup of happy that I look forward to waking up to. I realized that making this rule would highly motivate me to get showered and dressed!
For those of you who get showered and dressed every day without nary a thought or consideration, I’m sure this list seems over-the-top crazy. And it might be. But I had to draw a line in the sand and I had to be very specific if I want to overcome this lifelong nemesis.
I’m hoping sharing this might encourage or inspire some of you who are struggling in this area or another area. Don’t just say you want to change; come up with a clear cut plan of action for making the change happen. And then go do it!
My Day 10 Project Update
Bedtime: I made it to bed by 9:30 last night — finally managed to hit my bedtime!
My Top 5 Evening Must Do’s: Done!
Wake Up Time: 4:35 a.m.
Day 11 Project
1. Did you determine your bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did on them last night.
2. Did you determine what time you’re going to commit to waking up every morning for the next three weeks? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did this morning!
3. Did you get in some exercise yesterday and eat a nutritious breakfast? If not, make a commitment today to a specific way you’re going to incorporate exercise and a nutritious breakfast into your day.
4. Read The Real Reason You Can’t Quit Diet Coke, Ditch the Junk Food, or Get to Bed on Time and think about one area in your life that you are currently struggling with. How can you set yourself up for success replacing a negative habit with a positive one? I’d love to hear what you come up with!