If there’s one gift lockdown has given some of us, it’s the time and opportunity to create new or different habits. Some habits clients and friends have told me about include; cooking meals from scratch to exercising more, learning a new skill, meditating, connecting more with friends and family even if it is via technology rather than face-to-face.
Perhaps, for you, it doesn’t feel like a new habit, just a different way of living which has had a positive impact, simple little things like eating together as a family or going for family walks.
Whatever it is, however big or small, now, as we shift into our new normal, I invite you to take this time to assess what aspects of lockdown life you’d like to maintain going forwards and create a plan for how you’re going to do this.
Remember, if lockdown for you has been about surviving the and juggling life and you feel like you haven’t had the capacity or headspace to create any new habits or don’t want to continue anything from lockdown don’t worry and more importantly please don’t beat yourself up. This experience will have been different for everyone and there is no right or wrong way to “do lockdown”.
Steps to help you continue habits after lockdown:
- Write it down – start by taking 5-minutes to list all the habits/activities you’ve found positive during lockdown and what you want to continue with.
- Understand why – for each habit list WHY it’s made you feel good or what you’ll get from continuing with that habit.
- Discuss – this point is more important if your habits include other people – like your family dinners or that weekly house party with a mate – tell them you’d like to continue with this habits and why – make sure they’re on board too. Even if your habits don’t require participation from others perhaps they rely on your partner having the kids so you can focus on an online yoga class or you just want your best friend to hold you accountable – sharing your plans is another way to increase the chances you’ll stick to your habits
- Schedule – make your habits and the things which bring you joy or peace or make you feel good a priority – you’re worth it. You may need to get support, buy-in or help from others – see point 3 –
- Create a habit tracker – who doesn’t love the satisfaction of receiving a gold star (or tick) for a job well done – hold yourself accountable by tracking your habits. It will be rewarding to see and can help keep people on track because they want to keep getting those metaphorical – or literal if you want(!) gold stars.
- Keep up the momentum – it’s easy to take a day or two off because things have changed but research shows that restarting something the second time is much harder than continuing with something which is why making a plan which will keep you on track now is so important.