“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what gets you going.”
The excitement of anything new is enough to get us motivated to go back for more. But after a while the excitement wears off. If we haven’t created a habit, then it is easy to decide we don’t have time to pursue the hobby or perhaps we say the endeavor wasn’t really for us or we weren’t getting anything out of it anyway.
When we decide to begin a yoga practice, we are looking for something. Yoga can bring us a quieter mind, relieve our anxiety, contribute to better breathing, digestion, sleep, and a stronger, more flexible body. We know why we begin the practice. We know how good we feel when we practice. But why does our commitment sometimes fade?
According to a Duke University study, about 45% of our behavior is from habit. Good or bad, we engage in habitual, repeated, frequent behavior.
Why not create more good habits and stick to them? We must rely on habit - not our motivation and emotions - to move forward and get things done.
If I waited until I was motivated, many things wouldn’t get done.
I’ll admit, I don’t always feel like doing my yoga practice, but it has become a habit. I know I am a better person when I stick to practice on a regular basis. I don’t wait until I feel like practicing. I don’t let things get in the way of my practice. Other things will always need doing. I plan a schedule and stick to it.
We can’t rely on our motivation to keep us moving. Determine your schedule and do your best to stick to it. If we want to reap the benefits of a yoga practice, we need to practice regularly and consistently.
Consistency over a long period of time will bring about great change.