I’ve noticed that many of my clients, and I myself, have a hard time getting back into our good habits after a life event interrupts our routine. It could be a vacation, getting sick, a death in the family, a wedding, taking an important exam, moving, or changing jobs.
Whatever the event is, it often takes up a great deal of time or takes us out of our normal environment. As a result we loose focus on our healthy habits. All of the sudden we find ourselves eating McDonald’s or not exercising.
That wouldn’t be so bad, but when the life event is over, we don’t restart our good habits.
To help my clients overcome this challenge, I have created the concept of the Healthy Habit Restart Checklist.
First, while you are in your healthy routine, make a checklist of your good habits and put it someplace where you can get to it easily.
You can give yourself a break while the life event is occurring, but when the life event has passed, take out your Restart Checklist and recommit to it. Remember that these habits will create a healthy, happy, long life for you. Then think about when you are going to complete each task and schedule those that take a larger period of time (reading or exercising).
Here’s an example:
- Go to sleep at 10 p.m.
- Exercise Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
- Meditate for 10 minutes in the morning
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Avoid French fries
- Dust my dresser
- Read for ½ hour before bed
- Floss my teeth
- Turn the TV off after one show
Sometimes you may need to phase in the re-implementation of your healthy habits, and that’s ok. If you need to make a phased start, mark your calendar with the phases of your implementation. For example: week one: exercise 3 times, week two: 4 times, week three: 5 times.
It’s also a good idea to re-check your Restart Checklist a month after re-implementation to ensure you’re on track.
We are all going to have times when our health routine is interrupted, but the important thing it to get back to that routine after life settles back down.