How’s it going? If you’re normal, you’ve had both successes and… slip-ups, of course. This may be blazingly obvious, but in order to do better tomorrow, you’ll need to know what causes your trip-ups. So this week’s advice is much like yesterday’s. What obstacle have you failed to see or plan for? How does your routine need tweaking? Is your trigger consistent? Does your reward need bolstering? Did you take on too much too soon? Figure it out, and make a specific plan for what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation again.
When I was first trying to squeeze a longer hike into my afternoon routine, I felt like I was failing more afternoons than not. For example, at first I thought I could get away with not leaving work a little earlier (or with pushing dinner later). But after three or four days of rushing around and not actually being able to do more than my BTN workout, I realized that I either needed to prep dinner the night before or I needed to leave work a half hour earlier.
Then there were all the things that made my hike less than fun and easy: not having good rain gear, not having a book, not being able to find my preferred dog leash.
For several days in a row, I didn’t foresee minor obstacles that proved challenging, like not feeling warm enough, or being intercepted on the way out the door by a family member hoping for a little of my time. But after I’d encountered each obstacle once, I could make a plan for what to do the next time. It took about six weeks before I settled into my routine. It is still constantly evolving in tiny tweaks, depending on my travel and family schedules. But it is evolving, not starting and stopping in fits.
Getting in a major habit like this one has not only paid off in terms of more energy and focus at work, and greater patience with my kids, but it has also become foundational experiential evidence of the power of habits—even though I had to make so many tweaks in the beginning.
What To Do Today
Task #1: What obstacles have you failed to see or plan for? Using the page titled “Regroup, Revise, and Double Down” in your workbook to figure out how your routine needs tweaking.
Task #2: Join the Discussion: What tweaks have you made to your habit over the last 20 days? What tweaks do you still need to make? Get suggestions from your fellow habit-changers here on the Facebook page: https://goo.gl/Zj35ZD
Task #3: Carry on with your exercise! And keep it fun, people!