“Insanity is: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. – Albert Einstein
Well, if that’s the case then I’d consider myself as having been insane on several occasions. When I knew that going to the gym would help my energy levels, when I ate chocolate knowing I wanted to cut out sugar and of course, when I allowed the negative thoughts to seep in and rather than kicking them out, I let them fester for a while longer.
It’s human nature to break habits and to go against our conquering minds. One of our brain’s functions is to protect us and of course, keep us alive. When we aim to do something that we haven’t done before, its natural instinct is to warn us. This reverts back to our caveman days when we’d experience some sort of actual life threat (like an animal wanting to kill us) and our brain would switch to fight or flight mode. Today, these instincts stay imprinted in our biology and will kick in when we attempt to push ourselves outside our comfort zones. I wrote about this last year after attending a Seminar run by James Hanley of Revolution Fitness. Read it here.
As far as fresh starts go, we can make them over and over again in life and that’s OK. Walt Disney went bankrupt eight times before he actually made a success of the now mega-successful corporation – did you know? At a more basic level, when babies are learning how to walk, they fall several times and get right back up again. Quitting isn’t an option and guess what? If we really want something, we’ll try and try again.
For those of you feeling disheartened when it comes to those fresh starts that just haven’t been so fresh, try some little tips that have increased my own personal success rate.
*Read something inspiring. Seriously though. Have you checked out my recent post about five books to change your life? Sophia Amoroso (Author of #GirlBoss) worked extremely hard, made sacrifices and learned some valuable lessons. Did she have challenges? Of course.
*Keep a habit diary. I have several diaries and sometimes, fail to keep up with them all. I do however keep track of my habits. I mark items such as wrote a blog post, went to the gym, ate no sugar and did all my ironing (yes really). I then give myself a star when I achieve them (as cleverly suggested by Sarah of The Better Life Project – check her out here). Keep track, reward yourself and look back on how far you’ve come.
*Ask for help. I call my boyfriend my sponsor as sadly, I can allow my habits to run away from me and this can affect my stress levels and mental health. When I need to go for a walk, take my vitamins and just chill, he highlights this to me and therefore helps my habits stay on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for support – our loved ones are more than happy to help.
*Give yourself a break when you need it. This week, I’ve been rather run down and lacking in energy. I FORCED myself to go to the gym yesterday and had to quit after ten minutes. It was a poor decision to go and following my tired gut would’ve made more sense. Know when to say ‘enough is enough’.
Actually, how about we forget about fresh starts and instead, focus on the starts?