5 Simple Steps to Help You Quit Quitting & Achieve Consistent Habit Success
We all have goals we want to achieve in terms of our health and fitness. But how often do we find ourselves falling short, quitting early, or struggling to maintain the habits we started? It happens to us all.
Whether it's a workout routine, a new eating plan, or self-care practices, it can sometimes feel like we are fighting an uphill battle, especially when life always seems so intent on getting in the way.
Here's a method that can help you stay on track and achieve your goals with greater ease. Are you ready to make steady progress without getting bogged down by perfectionism or setbacks?
Watch this video training where we dive into five simple steps you can use help you achieve your goals and stop quitting your habits. Here's a quick recap of each of the steps to help you to get started:
Step 1: DEFINE The Goal
The first step is to define your specific goal and the targeted habits and action steps you plan to take to get there. For instance if you have a goal to exercise more, what does "more" look like to you? What type of exercise? How many days this week? For how long?
"I want to go for a 20 minute walk on my lunch break each day during my work week," or ""I want to do a 30 minute home workout three days per week" are both great examples. They're very specific, and something that you can define as being a goal you want to achieve.
So begin by defining what it is you're actually working on. What is the specific goal? What clear habits and actions will you take towards that this week? This month?
Define and get specific, because if you don't know exactly what it is you're working on, you're not going to get there.
Step 2: SCHEDULE IT
Those defined actions and habits from Step 1? Put them in your calendar. Because what gets scheduled gets done.
Take a look at your calendar. If what you see are appointments related to everyone and everything else in your life and you're not seeing YOU in your calendar, you are not making yourself enough of a priority. And guess what? Everything and everyone will come first.
Schedule those habits into your calendar and treat them like any important appointment. If your goal is to exercise more, schedule the specific times you will work out.
Make sure to prioritize self-care in your calendar, like exercise, meal planning and rest days. By making appointments for yourself, you're more likely to stick to those habits.
Step 3: ASSESS (and tweak if necessary)
The third step is to assess your schedule and make necessary tweaks.
Look at the habits and actions you've just placed on your calendar and evaluate whether that schedule looks doable in reality, considering your other responsibilities this week. If you're not confident you can follow through and execute on those actions with at least 80% success, it may need to be adjusted.
You should be able to look at your schedule and say "YES! I can do this!" Set yourself up for success.
Step 4: PLAN B
The fourth step is to have a plan B in place for when disruptions occur. Unexpected events and obstacles are bound to happen, so it's important to plan ahead.
Write down and have a clear understanding of what your plan B is for various situations. If you get stuck in traffic and don't have time to cook that healthy dinner you'd planned... What's Plan B? If rain washes out your lunch break walk... What's Plan B?
Obstacles are frustrating and inevitable, but don't need to be the cause of a total derailment. Being prepared with a Plan B will help you stay on track with your habits and goals.
Step 5: REVIEW (and repeat)
The fifth step is to review your progress each week. Ask yourself these questions:
- What went well? And celebrate all the big and small wins!
- What didn't go so well?
- Was I able to execute and follow through on my plan at least 80% of the time? Yes or no?
- If not, what stopped me?
- What can I do to prevent that from happening next week?
And then repeat the whole process for the next week ahead. DEFINE what your specific habit goals are. SCHEDULE them. ASSESS if the plan looks achievable with at least 80% success and tweak it if necessary. Formulate your PLAN B's and then REVIEW when the week is over.
Repeating this process consistently will lead to success. You'll be well on your way to creating solid healthy habits and self care routines, achieving your goals and living your healthiest and happiest possible life.
How will you use this method to help you stay on track? I'd love to see your insights in the comments below.
5 Simple Steps to Help You Quit Quitting & Achieve Consistent Habit Success
Welcome to The Shit Show! Where we talk about fitness that doesn't suck for women in this crazy time of life through midlife menopause and beyond.
I'm your coach, Nicole, and in today's training, we're going to be covering my Five Simple Steps to Help You Quit Quitting and Follow Through to Habit Success.
So if you ever struggle with consistency, with sticking to any kind of a program or even to any kind of a plan that you've set up for yourself or you've been setting goals but you end up quitting on them because things get hard or life gets in the way, then you'll want to stick around. Because today's training is for you.
And it's for all of us, because we all struggle with consistency and sticking to our programs and plans from time to time, right? So this training is for you. And me just as well. I need these reminders too. So it's for all of us.
So in our last couple of trainings, we've been talking about fitness in terms of comparing it to relationships and the importance of acknowledging the stage of the relationship that you're at currently with your fitness. We've been talking about commitment to your health and fitness and what that looks like. And we've been talking about the idea that when you're committed to your fitness, there is no need to be perfect, right? We've been talking about the idea that you can execute and follow through and work on your goals 80% of the time. Consistently. Consistently. I always have trouble with that word. Consistently.
You aim for getting a B average if you were in school and you still are going to succeed at getting where you want to go, right? Aim for a B average, aim for 80% execution and follow through on your habits, towards your goals, and you are going to succeed.
But what does that look like in real life, right? How do you actually get that B average? How do you actually follow through on that 80% the majority of the time? So that's what we're talking about today, and it's easier than you might imagine if you use these five simple steps to help you quit, quitting, and follow through on your habit success. So...
Step Number One: DEFINE
And if you're taking notes or you're here with me in the comments, please write down "DEFINE". In other words, what is the actual goal? What is it specifically that you actually want to achieve?
For instance, let's use exercise as the example because this is a super, super common one. You might be saying to yourself, I want to exercise more, or I want to exercise more regularly. And that's great. Congratulations.
That is a great mission, that is a great dream, that is a great wish, great desire. But what does more actually look like, right? What is more specifically to you? Because it's going to be different for different people, right?
More exercise to you might mean getting up and trying to go for a ten minute walk off the couch every day this week. Whereas for me, more might mean adding an extra workout to my week as opposed to the three or four that I'm currently doing, right?
More exercise or more regular is going to be different depending on where you are currently in your current level of health and fitness. And that's perfectly fine. But you need to define what more or more regularly specifically looks like.
So some examples, rather than just more exercise or more regularly, you might want to get specific and say, "I want to do a 30 minute home workout three days per week." That's specific, right? A 30 minutes home workout three days per week. Or "I want to go for a 20 minute walk on my lunch break each day during my work week." That's very specific, and it's something that you can define as being a goal you want to achieve.
Or "I want to work out for an hour in the gym every Saturday." That's another great one pertaining to exercise, right? And we can follow this through to any kind of health or fitness or self care goal that you have.
But the very first step is to get specific, is to define what the actual goal is. So please comment for me - "Define". Or if you're taking notes, write it down.
Define what it is you're actually working on. Get specific, because if you don't know exactly what it is you're working on, you're not going to get there, right? So DEFINE is step one.
For Step Two: Ready for this one? SCHEDULE
Schedule. Because what gets scheduled gets done. It's plain and simple.
Put it in your calendar. Make your calendar your best friend. Again, using the exercise example, put an appointment for yourself in your calendar with yourself to do that specific exercise when you've set out to do it, okay? Here's the thing about using your calendar. You got to make your calendar your best friend.
Because if you live by a calendar, whether it is a paper calendar or a digital calendar, whatever you happen to use to keep track of all the stuff that you've got to get done in any given day or given week, if you look at your calendar and what you're seeing there is appointments related to everybody else in your life or every other responsibility that you have in your life, and you're not seeing YOU in your calendar, you are not making yourself enough of a priority. You are giving your brain a subconscious message every time you look at your calendar that you're not important enough. So start putting yourself, your self care in your calendar.
And let's make this easy, right? If you have an appointment for a mani-padi, it's going in your calendar. And I can guarantee you you're probably not going to miss that appointment unless some emergency pops up, right? So put your exercise, put your meal planning in your calendar.
If you're meal planning and you have a goal to plan out five dinners in the coming week, when are you going to do the meal plan? When are you going to shop for ingredients? Put those things in your calendar.
Make your schedule important.
So step number two, SCHEDULE. Please comment, or if you're making notes, SCHEDULE is step number two to success.
Step Number Three: ASSESS
Assess and tweak if necessary.
So I want you to actually look at that calendar where you've written down this schedule. Does this schedule look doable in reality, in the context of your life, and in the context of all the myriad of things you have to do this coming week or this coming month?
Does this schedule that you've set out for yourself actually look doable in reality? Are you confident that you can execute and follow through on at least 80% of this goal? If not, maybe you need to tweak it a bit.
Maybe you look at this schedule and you say, yeah, there's no way this is going to happen this week. If not, that's okay. Tweak it a little bit. Cut it back a little bit. Because if you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach right when you look at your calendar that this goal, this schedule you've set out for yourself for this week - again, let's say it's your exercise - just isn't going to happen, you're setting yourself up to fail from the start.
So tweak it. Cut it back a little bit. Set yourself up for success.
You should be able to look at your calendar, look at what you have scheduled, and say, YES, I am confident that I can follow through on at least 80% of this, because if you set yourself up for success, you are more likely to continue. You're more likely to stick with it. You're more likely to maintain these habits more consistently.
So assess. Look at that calendar. If it looks doable, great. If you're confident you can get it at least 80% done, fantastic.
If not, just tweak it. Assess and make your calendar doable. Make your schedule doable. Set yourself up for success by assessing.
So please comment, "ASSESS".
Step Number Four: Plan B
Plan B is step number four, because shit is going to happen, right? It's going to happen. You can plan your calendar, schedule yourself out to the minuteest, possible minute, and something is going to get in the way of that plan, right? There are going to be obstacles. There are going to be unexpected things pop up, right?
Let's give you an example. Maybe you got a phone call from your significant other and, "Hey, I've had to invite some people over for dinner tonight," but you were planning to work out. It's going to happen.
Maybe you got invited last minute to a friend's cottage for the weekend and you had a workout schedule for Saturday. What are you going to do instead of the workout? You have to have a Plan B, right?
If you want to get a B average, if you want to hit that 80% follow-through, you have to have a Plan B.
So still looking at your calendar, you have this doable 80% schedule in front of you. Look at your schedule and ask yourself, what will you do? Not if, but WHEN something gets in the way of this plan, because you know it's going to happen.
Something is going to pop up. You get stuck in traffic. You come home too late to do the workout you were planning to do. You have to pick up takeaway on the way home as opposed to cooking that healthy meal you were planning on doing. Whatever the case may be, stuff is going to pop up.
So look at that calendar of yours. Look at that schedule. And what will you do if something gets in the way? What is your Plan B?
Again, maybe you have a walk planned with your BFF this week, but the day that you plan to do the walk, it's pissing rain and thundering, right? What will you do? What's your plan B? So if this happens, you need to ask yourself this question and write this down for yourself.
Jot down ideas. If something happens, I will....... What is the plan B?
If something gets in the way of my workout on Monday... I will move it to a different day. I will go for a walk instead. What is your plan B?
What are your ideas for Plan B that you can implement when life happens, because it will, to ensure you can follow through with 80% of your plan? Plan B.
Please comment "PLAN B" to let me know you get this, because Plan B is super important to being able to maintain your consistency over time. Okay?
And finally, step number five....
Step Number Five is REVIEW
Review. Step number five.
At the end of the week, just take a few minutes. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, but take a few minutes to review. Take stock of what happened during this week, and ask yourself a few questions:
- First of all, what went well? What went well? What worked really well for you this week? And stop and take just a little bit of time to give yourself a pat on the back to give yourself a high five. Do a little happy dance, and congratulate yourself on every little small win. Because we don't take enough time normally to congratulate ourselves for the stuff we do well.
We're usually beating ourselves up for the things we don't do well. Let's take some time to pat ourselves in the back for the stuff we have done well. So ask yourself, what went well? Assess that.
- And then, what didn't go so well? Just write it down. No judgment. What didn't go so well? What didn't work? Where did this plan fall through?
- Was I able to execute and follow through on at least 80% of my plan? Yes or no? Super important question. No judgment. Yes or no. Was I able to follow through on at least 80% of my plan for that goal? Yes or no?
- And then if not, what stopped me? And what can I do to prevent that from possibly happening again next week?
What went well?
What didn't go so well?
Was I able to execute and follow through on my plan 80% of the time?
If not, what stopped me?
And what can I do to prevent that from happening again next week?
And then do the whole process all over again.
DEFINE what the actual goal is, specifically. SCHEDULE it. Look at it on paper, ASSESS it, tweak it if necessary. Formulate your PLAN B's and then REVIEW again each week and start all over.
Okay, so get out there, execute, and follow through 80% of the time will get you where you want to go. Use these five simple steps repeatedly and consistently to get you through to success.
And I know simple doesn't always mean easy. So if you do want additional support, please feel free to reach out to me at any time.
And until next time, I'm Nicole, your Take Back Your Body and Your Life Coach and whatever stage or age you are at with your health and fitness, just remember it is possible to have a body and a life you love.
Thanks for joining me, and I'll see you in the next training.