3 Successful Strategies You Need to Develop Good Habits
Dear Selfless Esteem,
School’s starting and I’m having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I feel like I don’t have enough energy or stamina. How do I stay motivated?
Dear Back-to-school Bump-on-a-log,
Going back to school is a big adjustment, even if your summer was structured and productive. It’s more challenging if you’ve had a long break.
First of all, get a physical exam so that the physician can rule out any health problems and make referrals. Next, check out these 3 successful strategies to develop good habits. ت
1. Replace Old Habits
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy” as the famous lyrics of DuBose Heyward go. It’s part of a lullaby sung in the opera “Porgy and Bess,” but sometimes there’s universal truth in that one line. Summertime can become a time period of letting ourselves go.
One of the unhealthy habits people pick up over summer break is numbing their minds through watching too much tv and/or using substances. (See “Is Media Affecting Your Mental Clarity?“) Because our brains are constantly in use at work and/or school, we typically want to relax our minds the rest of the time. Our brains legitimately need a break, but let’s use healthy outlets in moderation. For example, sleep helps reset the brain and even release our emotions through dreams; thus, getting enough sleep is crucial. (You may be interested in the post, “The Best Ways To Fall Back Asleep.“)
2. Overcome Obstacles
Getting back into the swing of things can be overwhelming. And so, I recommend breaking your goals down into steps and getting support along the way. (See “6 Effective Ways To Manage Stress.”)
Identifying barriers can help you determine the type of help you need. For instance, are you feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork? Meet with a tutor and/or the teacher. Do you need help with childcare on weeknights or weekends? Build relationships with trustworthy family members, neighbors and your children’s friends’ parents. Then, ask for help with childcare and swap babysitting with them if possible. To develop a consistent exercise routine, find a workout buddy or get a trainer at a gym. (Some health insurances offer discounts on gym memberships. Of course, consult your physician first.)
If your cell phone is distracting you and consuming too much of your time, see “Break Free From Toxic Device Addiction Now!“
3. Maintain Your Progress
You asked, “How do I stay motivated?” As mentioned, get help. Next, find a quality life coach to help you stay on track. Furthermore, a competent therapist can help with any underlying issues. (See “What Is Wise Counsel and Good Therapy?” and “Why You Need To Get a Therapist ASAP.”).
Another way to stay motivated is to recognize and experience the benefit of taking steps toward your goals, whether it’s feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep, feeling relaxed after a workout, or feeling better due to good nutrition. In other words, we’re motivated to continue behavior that makes us feel good.
As you get back in the swing of things, keep in mind that it’s unrealistic to make 100% progress toward your goals 100% of the time. Therefore, have self-compassion throughout the process. (See “Defeat Self-Criticism.”)
In the midst of our fallible, human limitations, we can ask Almighty God for help (Psalm 121:1-2). (See “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps,” “The Real Truth About God,” and “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem.” Best of all, we can receive His unconditional love. ٩(̃-̮̮̃-)۶
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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