A 5-Step Healthy Habit Reset Anyone Can Use

healthy habit reset
healthy habit reset

Knowing that a plant-based diet is good for us is one thing. Sticking with a plant-based diet is an entirely different thing. 

Many of us know from experience that getting started with a new resolution is the easy part. The hard part is staying consistent. That’s why so many of my blog posts focus on goal setting and habit formation.

Today, the focus shifts to what to do when life upends your best habit-keeping intentions and a healthy habit reset is in order!

My Journey into Healthy Habit Reset Territory

This year, the two New Year’s resolutions I’ve kept most consistently are waking up at the same time every morning and doing 1,000 push-ups a day.

However, over the past couple of weeks, changing circumstances have seen my resolve to keep them falter. They began with a change in time zones and a broken finger.

While on the West Coast, I was fine with waking up at 4:30 a.m. But when I traveled east, my internal clock had trouble adjusting to the new time zone. For the first time this year, I missed several mornings getting out of bed when my alarm went off.

The broken finger occurred on the West Coast while I was running alone along a mountain trail. Less than a mile in, I tripped on one root and broke my pinky finger.

Having never seen it at such an odd angle, I instinctively grasped it and put it back into place. At the time, I was out of cell phone range and at least a couple of hours from the nearest medical clinic.

Fortunately, the trail was near a rushing river. For 30 minutes, I let the cold water run over my injured finger to reduce the swelling. Then, after doing a set of push-ups, I completed the 10-mile run, returned to my family, and splinted the finger.

By that night, I’d also met my daily 1,000-push-ups quota!

After a restless night, I drove to a clinic the next day, where the orthopedist diagnosed me with a fractured finger.`I left with my hand in a cast covering the left side of my hand and my wrist.

Long story short? After over 150,000 push-ups this year, my push-up challenge is now on hold!

One Stalled Habit Leads to Another

When circumstances outside our control start a domino effect, upending our good habits, it’s time for a healthy habit reset!

The ripples from the stone life tossed into my pond on that mountain trail have continued to spread. Because of the cast, typing my daily blog posts takes me twice as long as usual.

If you’re one of my daily readers, you’ve probably noticed the posts have been running behind. Now you know why! The slowdown has created a negative domino effect on many of my other responsibilities.

One misstep on a mountain trail was all it took to throw a number of my 2021 resolutions and goals for a loop. How was I going to recover?

Extensive research supports the therapeutic benefits of writing. So here’s the poem I wrote to help me RESET my resolutions!

Time for a Healthy Habit RESET 

   When I Regress

It’s time to Express 

         how to Suppress

     find my Egress 

                 use the Team-press! 

 

After writing it, I decided to live it. Here’s how I RESET my goals.

Regress: 

First, I acknowledged my regressing into the bad habit of not getting up when my alarm went off. I also had to accept that sometimes regressing is out of our control. For example, having my wrist in a cast puts completing 1,000 push-ups a day out of reach for now.

Express:

Second, I expressed my feelings. Accepting the situation didn’t lessen the anger, shame, sadness, and anxiety I felt about my accident and its consequences. But they are natural reactions and important for me to express, even if only to myself!

Suppress:

While I don’t want to suppress my emotions, I do want to suppress my temptations to sleep in or take a break from working out. 

Egress: 

Egress is a way out. As a way out of my predicament, developing a recovery plan was critical to my healthy habit RESET.

In making my New Year’s resolutions, I actually formulated a time-zone strategy.

Eastern Time 6:00 am
Central Time 5:30 am
Mountain Time 5:00 am
Pacific Time 4:30 am
Alaska Time 4:00 am (Yes! I actually got up at 4:00 am the entire two weeks in Alaska).

The problem? I didn’t have a plan for implementing the change between time zones. Going east to west was easier, but going back east was DIFFICULT.

After thinking it through, I realized that taking a week or more to adjust to a new time zone incrementally would be best.

And I’ve replaced my push-ups with planks. The first two days, I did an hour of them, but taking that much time proved difficult. So I’ve settled on 30 minutes of planks each day – until the cast comes off. 

Team-press: 

In soccer parlance, the team press means an entire team has gone on the offensive. For many of my 2021 resolutions, I had been going it alone. Now that I need a healthy habit RESET, my “team” has come onboard.

My daughter and I pledged to get up the minute our alarms sound. Every minute we stay in bed or nap during the day, we owe each other ten cents.

As of today, she has $5.00 coming!

My 11-year-old boy and some of my other family members exercise with me now, and we’ve been consistent since joining forces.

But whatever resolutions, maintaining them will always be a struggle. When I’m tempted to miss a day, following my healthy habit RESET plan will be essential! 

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