When trying to change a habit or follow through on a commitment to yourself, YOU can be your own worst enemy. As much as you’d like to “power through it” and sometimes that works, it’s not always reliable day after day after day.
As a Whole30 coach, there are two things I always tell people when they’re considering doing a Whole30, but are worried about sticking to it. That “it” could be anything for you, not just a Whole30. When the Whole30 program was created, there was a LOT of habit research studied. Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Urban is a great place to start if your “it” is the Whole30. But if not, there are a couple things to take into consideration if you’re looking to stick through something, because willpower alone almost always runs out. Every time you make a decision to do a hard thing rather than an easy thing (get up the 1st time the alarm goes off, exercise instead of relax, do dishes instead of watch TV), you use up some willpower. This is why it’s harder to make good choices when it’s late and you’re tired. You’ve already used up most if not all of your willpower for the day. So here are my personal top two ways to stick to something:
1-FIND YOUR WHY
Without having a solid reason to do something, you are most likely going to fail. Everyone can tell you that you should take care of yourself and better your health. But until YOU are on board with it, until the blood test results scared you because they weren’t in your favor, or until YOU want to change your life, you probably won’t last long on whatever everyone else is suggesting for you.
Finding your why is game changing. For my first Whole30, I jumped in feet first because I had a strong WHY behind it. For me I wanted my hormones to change and they weren’t changing fast enough, which led me to jump feet first and fully determined into the Whole30 program. I was tired of dealing with my infertility and wanting better results from my blood work. This strong why helped keep me going the entire 30 days even when I felt like giving up.
Whatever you’re trying to do, figure out your why behind it, and what emotional reason you have for doing it. Some people write their reason on a 3×5 card and keep it with them to remind themselves of their why when they want to quit.
A few months after my 1st Whole30, I decided to do another one for fun and to get myself back on track food-wise. I didn’t stick to it long, as I didn’t have a strong reason behind it that time.
Don’t go it alone! Habit research shows you are much more likely to succeed if you have support and accountability from like-minded people. Join a facebook or in person group for whatever you’re attempting! Lots of different programs (paleo, vegan, etc.) have various support groups online so you’re sure to find one that you like. Have someone do a Whole30 with you, or start a small group with your friends. Join a group led by a coach. Whatever you decide, having people to answer to, find inspiration from, and encourage yourself are all great ways to keep you going.
Again, when I did my first Whole30, my husband agreed to do it with me which was a HUGE help. It’s not easy when you’re eating one thing and your family is eating allll the ice cream, cheese, and cookies!
Definitely make sure you have some community and support during whatever you’re trying to stick with!
What are some changes you’re working on? Are you struggling or finding success?