I would love to tell you about my triumphant first week of the September Healthy Habit Challenge (see September Healthy Habit Challenge post). Unfortunately, I can’t. Why? Because I was less than triumphant – way less. Out of the 7 days in the first week of September, I only managed to complete my new daily task (3 30-second planks) on 3 days. This blog isn’t about telling you what to do, it’s about sharing the journey and failure or temporary setbacks are part of it. So lets talk about what went wrong and how to fix it.
What Went Wrong
- Missed Alarms: It’s not an excuse, it’s my trigger to implement the new habit. Last Saturday was Day 1 and I completely forgot to even set my alarm. Sunday I set my task alarm for just after my normal wake up alarm on a week day – 5:15 am, but I didn’t wake up at 5:00 am, because it was SUNDAY. Monday I ambitiously set my alarm for 8:00 am, But once again, I didn’t wake up at 8:00 am. Tuesday and Wednesday, I was awake when my task alarm went off so I saw it and got the job done. Thursday, I again slept past my normal alarm and missed my task alarm while Friday was my third successful day. Hmmm – must fix alarm situation.
- Reliance on One Trigger: The only trigger I planned was my task alarm so when that failed, there was not backup to remind me of my new task. No visual cue and my tracking mechanism wasn’t in a place where I would see it to even remember I forgot my task.
- No External Accountability: I didn’t mention my new goal to my sons, my boyfriend, my mother or my colleagues – all who see or talk with me almost daily. Had they known, any of these people could have asked me about how my new task was working out.
How I’m Going to Fix It
- Set an Appointment: Instead of relying on my iphone task alarm, I’m going to actually set appointments on my calendar. I’m much better about looking at my calendar every day and planning so I can easily see when to move an occurrence of a daily appointment to a different time (such as later on the weekends). I’ll also see more quickly when I’ve missed it and perhaps be able to compensate when I get home.
- Create a Visual Reminder: I look at my iphone several times a day (shame on me, but it is what it is). So, I’m going to change my home screen to the Instagram post of me in the plank position. That will remind me very quickly if I’ve missed my task.
- Enlist Accountability Partners: I’m putting my Mom, sons, and boyfriend on notice that I need their help to hole me accountable. Between the 4 of them, I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t comply.
In this post I had planned to discuss adding another healthy habit, but I’m thinking I need to get this one established first. Wish me luck and let me know if you’ve got any alternative suggestions for helping me form this habit. Also, if you decided to accept my challenge, let me know how you did in a comment. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings if you were wildly successful – on the contrary, it will inspire me to do better!