Welcome to Flawed yet Functional! I love to talk about healthy habits in this space because they’ve changed my mental and physical health dramatically. From getting up early to exercising consistently, healthy habits have been a source of huge positive growth. But I fall off the wagon sometimes, don’t we all? So today, let’s chat about how to get back on track with healthy habits, after the holidays specifically.
First, I tried the inexpensive NPH insulin which was very volatile leaving me constantly on the look-out for going low (even through the night!). This left me exhausted emotionally and physically (I don’t handle fragmented sleep well…). So getting up on time flew out the window.
Since I wasn’t waking up early, many of my other habits flew the coop as well: exercise, Bible reading, and writing consistently.
Then with that morning routine off, I took a break from homeschooling in preparation for Christmas and all bets were off. The “what day is it?” feelings that usually come between Christmas and New Year started happening the week before Christmas.
By the time Christmas day arrived, I knew something had to change. I didn’t love this version of myself or aimlessly wandering through each day. A purpose-filled, productive life is my goal, every day.
So how does one get back to that purpose-filled, productive, and joy-filled life when all the balls have been dropped?
Go To Bed On Time
First, don’t try to start new routines, or re-establish old ones, without a good night sleep. While I’m not an advocate for beginning something new on the proverbial “tomorrow,” a good night sleep is imperative for being able to tackle a new or re-established habit.
Therefore, begin by going to bed on time. If this is all you can do for a while, good! Do it! Begin getting enough sleep so your body is rested and able to take on the challenges of the day: exercising, cooking healthy meals, journaling, etc.
Wake Up On Time
Second, get up on time. You knew this was coming next, right? Believe me, I know how hard this is. The bed is the warmest and most cozy right after the alarm goes off. Also, your brain tells you lies in the morning!
It’s Christmas break! You deserve to sleep in…
You can still accomplish your morning routine if you sleep just 20 more minutes…
Today you’ll take a super fast shower so you’ll make it out the door in no time at all…
Lies, I tell you! Don’t let your brain win. Get up.
Do The Best Part of Your Day First
Once you’re up, now comes the fun part, what do you want to do first? I love drinking a cup of hot tea and reading my Bible. Studying God’s word sets my frame of mind (and my emotions!) for the rest of the day. Being able to drink one complete cup of a hot beverage is just a phase of life thing, I’m sure, but it’s one thing this mom of a 5 and 3 year old cherishes.
Do The Hard Things Next
Full night’s rest? Check. Up on time? Check. Completed the things that excites me to get up in the morning? Check.
Now the hard part, work on other habits that are hard. The ones that take shear will power to make yourself get up and do them. For me, that’s exercising and getting ready for the day.
If I let myself delay after reading my Bible by turning on my phone and checking social media, I will squander the precious minutes that allow me time to get in a work-out and shower. Most days I don’t mind the process of working out, but I don’t like getting started.
Once the fun part is over, get up! Bite the bullet and do the hard thing next!
Give Yourself Time and Grace to Change
Now do you have to get all these things in the first day you determine to get your life back in order? No! Of course not! Go in order that I’ve listed:
- Go to bed on time – It might take a few nights of good, full sleep to be able to get up early without being murderous. Allow yourself grace to catch up on sleep.
- Get up on time – Once your body has had a couple nights of sound sleep, I bet you’ll find yourself waking up earlier and more easily. Possibly not as early as your alarm is set, but earlier! Take another few days to allow your body to adjust to the new sleep/wake cycle.
- Do the best part of your day first – Determining what will excite and motivate you to get out of bed is completely up to you. Experiment and find an activity that you love that will help you get up in the morning. This may take days or weeks to discover what that things is. Give yourself time to figure it out, and be flexible enough to change your routine!
- Do the hard things next – By the time you’ve got the first three areas covered, you’ll have discovered you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit. You CAN do hard things. You’ve already seen yourself do them. What’s one more? Add one hard thing at a time and conquer that one thing before adding another.
All in all, it could take weeks or months to get your routines back on track after falling off the wagon, but that’s OK. I challenge you to think of healthy habits as a continuous improvement, not a final destination. Whether you can or can’t bounce out of bed at 6am each morning is not the most important thing. What matters is you trying to daily improve your life and health by taking control of your habits.
If you’ve tried these 5 tips for how to get back on track with healthy habits after the holidays, I’d love to hear how it went! Do you have other tips for getting life back in order after a holiday or vacation?