When The Novelty of a New Habit Fades

Posted by Erin Aquin on Aug 16, 2018 11:04:51 AM

repelling-a-rock-face_925xBefore the summer ends, I have a project I want to get finished. And because I am all about supporting other people live with purpose, I decided to open up my process and share it with all of you in a free Off the Backburner Challenge.

The premise of this challenge is literally the key to how I get a lot done in a very short period of time.

I have two kids who require most of my time and energy so the days of going to the gym for an hour, doing a full length yoga class or spending countless hours writing or working on my business are not in the cards for me right now.

Not because I don't have the freedom to do those things, but because I actually believe I need 2 hours at the gym each day or a 40 hour work week to get the same results I can get by taking consistent baby steps.

But as those of you who are part of the Off the Backburner Challenge (if you aren't you can join us totally free here) are probably starting to notice, 15 minutes a day spent on something sounds easy, but it is actually just as easy to talk yourself out of that time you aren't paying attention. 

What is Really Going On Here?

When the novelty of your new daily commitment to yoga, meditation, exercise, reading, a creative or work project starts to wear off, you might notice yourself having thoughts like:

"it's just a short period of time anyway, it doesn't  matter if I skip just one day"

"I really don't feel like doing this today"

or my personal go to:

"I can just skip today and double up tomorrow"

They seem like fairly innocent thoughts don't they? You might even convince yourself that you have to feel like doing something in order to actually do it. 

The Idea That Changed Everything

When you feel the dread, the overwhelm, the anxiety (or any other unhelpful emotion you get) at the prospect of putting in your 15 minutes for your challenge today, the fact is you are already experiencing that emotion.

The moment you experience that emotion, you have paid for your challenge today. Doing the challenge or not doing it doesn't change the fact that you are now feeling an emotion. 

Imagine going to a store to buy something.

You pay the cashier and when they try and hand you your bag you scream "No! It's too hard" and you run away as fast as possible.

Your emotions are the money and your challenge goals are merchandise the store.

Sometimes you show up to the store and all you have left in the bank is dread.

But you know what?

That that currency is just fine and because you are already feeling it, you have already paid. BUT if you feel it you don't take home the merchandise (aka. put in your time that day) you just gave away your money and left the goods behind.

In real life you would never pay for something and not take it home, but when it comes to our dreams, we do it all the time.

You Don't Have to Feel Good to Get Things Done

Maybe it is cultural or learned but so many people operate under the unhelpful belief that you must feel good in order to keep your commitments to yourself.

The truth is you can feel anything along the spectrum of emotions and still do the thing you promised yourself you would do with a shift in your thinking.

Some days you pay for your challenge goals with emotions like excitement and inspiration, other days you pay for it with dread and discomfort.

The point is you paid the moment you felt the emotion, you might as well do what you came to do.

When I learned this idea from my teacher a light went on and I hope the same happens for you reading this.

There is no need to avoid feeling an emotion, especially when you are already feeling it.

Do your fifteen minute commitment today regardless of the flavour of emotion that came up.

The sale has been made so take the merchandise home.

Share it with me in the comments below.

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