Don’t rely on willpower.

Build a habit!

 

“I just can’t motivate myself to do yoga at home!”

Sound familiar? 🤔

I hear this soooooo often, so if this sounds like you, please don’t feel guilty about it.

 

Willpower is overrated.

Willpower is great for those few times when you need to do something really hard. But it’s not something that will sustain a lifelong yoga practice.

The only thing that will help you do that is to build it into your day as a HABIT.

Even if you feel there is ABSOLUTELY noooooo way that you’ll be able to sustain a yoga habit, please read on and see whether my 5 tips could help you get started…

 

Tip 1. Same place

Before you embark on starting your yoga habit, visualise where you can do it.

It doesn’t have to be a special dedicated space!! In fact, my heart always sinks a little when I hear people say:

“I just have to prepare my workout room, and THEN I’ll start yoga”.

No. no. no!

Do it IN the MIDDLE of your mess! In the kitchen/living room/bedroom. Anywhere! All you need is enough space for your mat.

However, even though you can do yoga ANYWHERE, it does help to have a plan of where you will regularly do it. For me it’s in my kitchen, right next to the washing machine and all my toddlers toys!

Of course this is not set in stone. By all means, if it’s nice weather, go outside! Having a regular place just takes away the mental load of having to decide where to do it, when your yoga time-window comes around.

 

Tip 2. Same time

Where in your life would 15 mins of yoga fit in?

(If you think even 15 minutes of yoga doesn’t fit in, just reflect for a moment about how much time you spend scrolling on social media… #justsayin’)

The most beneficial time to do yoga is in the morning. Before the craziness of the day takes over your mind and body.

However….. if you REALLY aren’t up to much in the morning, pick any other time of day! Lunch-time? Immediately post-work? Late in the evening?

Whatever time you choose, think about what the competing demands will be at that time. Is this a realistic time?

The truth is, there is NO perfect time. And that time will shift when you’re in a different life-stage.

A few years ago I practiced in the morning at 6:30. Then I had a baby! For a while my chosen time was 10:00am during his morning baby nap. And now it’s 1:00pm during his toddler lunch nap.

Soon he’ll be too old to nap, and then I’ll probably go back to early morning again! (For me the evening is not an option. I am just too exhausted from the day).

So pick YOUR best time – for your current life phase.

And then STICK.TO.IT! (no excuses)

 

Tip 3. Write it in your diary

You don’t have to practice eeeeevery day. However, doing it 2-3 times a week is optimal for making a real difference to your body and mind.

Pick which days are your yoga days. For me it’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

And then write it in your diary, in the chosen time that works for you.

And I mean literally WRITE-IT-IN! (in a paper diary or electronic one on your phone). This will act like a little contract you make with yourself.

I’m serious about this one. Actually schedule in yoga time!

If you have a shared diary, this will make your partner more accommodating of your yoga habit as well.

 

Tip 4. Don’t wait for motivation

Don’t expect to always ‘feel like’ doing yoga.

It’s normal and totally expected that you won’t feel like doing it. (Especially if your yoga time is early morning or late at night).

Your brain will be saying to you:

“Ohh but it’s so comfy sitting here scrolling my phone…” or

“But I’m soooo tired. I really need 15 more minutes in bed”.

This is your brain just not wanting to get ‘un-comfortable’. (Read some more about how to say no to your brain, for long term health benefits in this blog).

Most times when I get on my yoga mat, I don’t really feel like doing it. In the moment before starting, I’d much rather sit and chill-out with a book or my phone, or do some very necessary house-tidying.

However, I begrudgingly get on my mat, and even a few minutes in, I am happy to be practicing yoga.

(If you’re a runner, this is a very similar experience to feeling the dread BEFORE a run, but then feeling a runners-high somewhere in the middle of the run and afterwards).

Motivation is over-rated.

Don’t wait for a strong desire for yoga to start it!

Do it, even if you don’t want to, and the ‘feel-good’ will come later!

 

Tip 5. Start small

Ok, so you’ve got your time, place, diary schedule and mind-set…. Now, my final tip is really important.

START SMALL. Like, really small.

Don’t even go anywhere NEAR a yoga class that’s over 30 minutes long, until you feel you have a sustainable habit in place.

Ideally, stick to 15-20 minutes at first.

You’ll get physical and mental benefits, and you’ll avoid any future aversions to practicing because you think “I haven’t got the time”.

 

One last tip…

I’ve just thought of another one! Don’t worry about what you’re wearing, what state your home is in, or anything like that.

When your scheduled yoga time comes round. Drop everything! (Well, not a baby, if you’re holding one!)

The house can wait. No one cares about what you’re wearing or what your hair looks like.

Just drop down, and give me 20! 😉

Yoga homework!

So… this week I invite you to think about your yoga habit, and start planning it in.

Take some time to think about the logistics.

Start SMALL – but consistent.

(It can always increase later)

Then write it in your diary.

THEN… DO IT!

I’m rooting for you!

💪🙏😁

I hope you enjoyed this mini blog. 🤓

Please share your views in comments below!

Jolanthe x

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