Whether you want to start a new exercise habit, start meditating or writing daily, start to get out of debt or clear your clutter … creating a new habit isn’t always easy.
The steps themselves might be deceptively simple: pick one habit, keep it small to start with, and remember to do it every day.
But it’s not always so easy — there are a number of forces that can stand in the way:
- People in our lives create resistance to the habit.
- Our environment itself creates resistance (i.e. Internet distractions get in the way of writing).
- We forget.
- A crisis or other disruption comes into our life unexpectedly.
All of that is difficult, but there’s one obstacle that gets in the way more than any other.
Our biggest obstacle is ourselves.
I’m guessing you’re not so surprised by this. We’ve seen ourselves give up on forming habits many times because we:
- Are busy.
- Procrastinate because we’re tired or just don’t feel like it.
- Get distracted by our addictions.
- Are afraid of failure.
- Don’t like the discomfort of the task.
We’re our own biggest obstacle to forming habits – good ones – which we want to create in our lives.
The biggest reason is that we come up with all kinds of objections.
And then we listen to those objections.
We object to waking up early to write because we’re tired. Tiredness is a big objection of ours.
We object to doing yoga or exercising because it’s hard and we don’t feel like it right now. We’d rather check our phones. Procrastination because distraction is easier than discomfort is another major way we deal with our objections.
We object to the difficult studying because it makes us feel like losers to not know what we’re doing. This feeling of uncertainty is another huge objection.
We object to the daily practice because it feels restricting. It feels useless somehow, to practice but not get anywhere. It’s not working.
We object to discomfort, uncertainty, being overwhelmed, having to do something regularly, not being able to comfort and reward ourselves whenever we want.
How do we overcome these objections? How do we overcome the obstacles of ourselves? Let’s investigate a few ideas.
Overcoming Our Own Objections
There might not be just one answer to this obstacle. Author and blogger Gretchen Rubin believes people respond differently depending on how they respond to expectations – their own expectations, and other people’s.
So the right answer for me might not be the right answer for you.
Let’s look at a few different approaches – I suggest you try one out and see if it works. Experiment!