There are so many ways to approach building a new positive habit, however the key component of success is SELF-FORGIVENESS. It’s a rare situation where one decides to make a change, and SHAZAAM! the change is permanently made. Most of us tend to revert to our old comfortable habits – even though we don’t want to – because they take less work and require less attention.
Believe it or not, that’s part of the habit-changing process. It’s no big deal. Nevertheless, problems arise because we (inappropriately) equate those moments of returning to “normal” as constituting failure. It’s not! It’s just part of the process.
What? You forgot to floss this whole week, even after you committed yourself to taking better care of your gums? So what? Go get the floss, and resume your commitment.
Unlike the first time you picked up the floss, now you’ve done it a few times. You’ll find it easier this time because it’s more familiar… especially if you forgive yourself for having a normal learning curve, and appreciate yourself for getting back on that horse!
Personally, I prefer a combination of whatever works for the situation.
Progress Tracker #3 – Continuity Year Long Tracker
This chart (created by Dr. Peggy Malone) tracks the frequency that you did your habit over the course of a year. It also visually shows how your continuity increases over time. To reinforce a new habit you’d like to turn into a lifestyle change, color in the days you do it. Your objective is to do it as many times in a row as you can. For example you can track every day that you do something like:
- Skip all sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Have 4 servings of veggies
- Reduced your salt intake
- Keep your grains consumption to less than 3 servings
- Sweat for 30 minutes
- Avoid foods made from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
Missed a day? No problem! Leave it blank and continue the day after!
Tip: Instead of looking at this as something you’re going to do over the course of the year (which can be daunting), break it down into smaller chunks. Start by committing to completely filling out ONE letter only. Then commit to filling out another letter. As your enthusiasm ebbs and flows, you’ll see some areas have more shading than others. THAT’S NORMAL! The important thing is to resume!
Click on image to download your free copy.
By the way, don’t forget to share this with your kids. They are now halfway through their school year. Visual Progress Trackers are a fun way to boost that mid-year enthusiasm slump as they return to school (and exams?) after the holiday break.
This is the third post of a 3-part series. Part 1 and Part 2 have different types of Progress Trackers. Download the chart that best suits your goal, and post it where you will see it every day. Then take it one day at a time.
I’m always looking for more content to share with you. If you have any issues you’d like me to address, reach out at info@DeborahAnnDavis
Wishing you health and happiness,
Parenting Life Coach
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