It's tough to break bad habits or take on new ones when we let the skeletons in our closets stall our efforts. You know the bones about which I refer:
Learned poor habits
How do we get past what haunts us? There are many approaches and I would advocate seeking whatever help and support we need (professional or from friends and family). In addition, there are daily regimens we can employ.
Here's the important element - DAILY
The mental garbage that trips us up today, will try tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. An approach that continually acknowledges barriers and facilitates good choices and behaviors every day will make the greatest difference.
Here's an approach that works very well for me and I have seen it work well for several others I have coached or worked with.
The technique: Just 5 minutes.
Have you noticed that the hardest part of developing new habits is getting started? I commit to doing something for just 5 minutes and almost always find that I get in the groove and do it for much much longer. This works for things like exercising more, networking, MBWAing, planning, organizing, making requests (which can feel like a cold call sale), reading, writing, journaling, blogging, gardening/home maintenance, or anything else you want to do for more time each day.
I'm here in Birmingham, AL right now visiting clients. I am staying at a hotel that has a small work out room. I got in around 7pm, then ate dinner. So at 8pm, I started the mental dance with myself (I like to lead) about whether I would change clothes, walk a block in cold temps, and work out.
Just 5 minutes. I got myself in workout gear and made a promise that if I did just 5 minutes that would be fine. 50 minutes later I returned having had a great workout.
Just 5 minutes. My mind fought it for many reasons I am sure I don't realize, but with 5 minutes I can circumvent the mental struggle and just get on with it.
I knew a manager who could not plan to save his life. It seemed that his DNA squarely rejected it like a poorly matched organ implant. He had reasons and rationalizations, but the fact was that his closet demons were winning.
Just 5 minutes. I started by doing the 5 minutes of planning with him - he needed basic training on HOW to plan. Then he tried it on his own. He found that on the days he did the 5 minutes of planning, he planned for more than 5 minutes. If he did not do the 5 minutes, he did not plan at all.
What haunts us does not need to stop us. Try the 5 minute technique to build the habits that will fuel your success.
It's 10:30pm here in Birmingham. It's been a late work day and tiring evening, but I am going to go do just 5 minutes of yoga and floor exercises. I can do 5 minutes no problem.