So How Do We Stay On The Wagon?
Updated: Feb 6
When I was a fitness instructor, without fail the first week of January was the busiest time of the year. Down at the gym an influx of new members full of hope and determination were signing up for their memberships ready to start the new year with a bang. It was known as 'pink leotard month' as for some reason, in those days (it was a while ago) the donning of a pink leotard seemed to be the way to start a fitness regime. And, sure enough the first class back in January found me staring out at a sea of excited bodies ensconced in different shades of pink!
Aerobic classes were full to busting in the first week of January, a little thinner on the ground the following week and, by the end of that first hopeful month we were back to our faithful regulars along with a dozen or so 'newbies' who had made it through the barrier of pure will power and were on the final furlough. By half way through February we had the handful of new regulars that would most likely be turning up for business as usual the following January. I witnessed this every year for a good four years whilst I worked in this profession and it always raised the same question: Why is it we don't stick to what we really want to do?
Don't get me wrong I was well and truly part of this pattern even though I could see it clearly in my work. All these people going at it like flies trying to blast themselves out of closed windows. I would still be there fresh faced and rosy cheeked on the first of January (ok maybe the 3rd of January having recovered from the big new years eve bash) with a list of 'going to's' ready to change all those blasted habits that I was constantly trying to run away from.
For many of us, well at least for those who didn't take note of my 'So what is the best way to start the new year' blog (sorry, I really don't enjoy saying I told you so... honest!) This is the time of year when we fall off the wagon and snuggle back into our old habits. The new year flush has passed, we really went for it full throttle and now we have run out of juice.
Apart from January NOT being the time to go for it, on account that its mid winter and everything else in nature is sleeping and has turned their precious energy inwards for nourishment and renewal. There is also the fact that whatever the time of year, whenever we try and snap into a new behaviour and make an abrupt change, our survival instinct will always take precedence, kick in and snap us right back to what we know. For that reason understanding how our physiology works and following some basic natural laws of how our energy flows can go a long way in helping us to sustain the changes we make.
Even if you started this year gently, made a commitment to change a few habits slowly and made precedent the importance of nourishing and replenishing yourself, this is still a time when we can slip back into the habits we are accustomed to.
In order to succeed there are a few simple principles to follow in order to ensure success. Like making sure the right side of the brain is governing the left side of the body and vice versa, having the blood in the forebrain which allows us to embrace new habits and behaviours without feeling threatened, knowing how to soothe the stress response so we feel safe enough to explore new frontiers and the understanding the importance of repetition and consistency in order to make a new habit part of who we are. When we acknowledge and adhere to these principles, go with the laws of nature and achieve our goals without battling for control and forcing an outcome. In other words; If we go with the flow then we can harness our natural forces and direct them in a way that serves us best.
Click here for a simple 'Get Set' routine to get you up and running for the day. its a good idea to commit to doing it for at least 21 days and keep a note in your journal of how you feel so you can track the differences.
If you'd like some help showing up for yourself, we are running a live 21 Day Experiment as a part of our membership framework. Join us on our extended trail period offer for two weeks free and try it for yourself! Experiment running until 8th Feb.