Establish long-lasting routines that promote well-being.

Have you ever gotten yourself so stressed out about creating healthy habits that you feel paralyzed?

Every day our electronic feeds are filled with new ideas. How to eat healthier. How to create the perfect exercise plan for your body/schedule/goals. What top ten actions you should take every morning to lead a more successful life.

I enjoy learning new concepts. I’m energized by trying new things. I have seen the benefits of many of the suggestions I read about.

But there comes a point where I start to feel bad about myself. How can any normal human being create so many amazing habits and stick to them all every day?

I am, after all, your average, everyday, normal human.

I want to be the best me I can be every day. Eating right, exercising, quality focus time to do my best work, set and exceed life goals. Yes, yes, yes, and YES!

But I’m only human.

Tony Robbins, one of my favorite gurus, takes a cold shower every morning, and recommends this as one way create a successful day.

While I believe him, and of course want to do everything I possibly can to be the most successful version of myself every day, there is NO way I will start my day with a cold shower. Nope. Not happening.

Admitting that makes me feel like I’ve failed. I will never be as successful as I can be because I refuse to shock my body with cold water first thing in the morning. What am I, a wimp?

Eat vegetables at every meal. Exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Take time for yourself everyday. Enjoy a hot bath for relaxation every night.

All great habits. None of them are in my every day repertoire. Because… I can’t, nor want, to do all those things in one day.

The other day I was taking some time to goal plan for the next two months. Goal planning time is a wonderful time to reset your routine and formulate some new habits (or just strengthen old ones).

Goals on my list: eat healthier with less fresh food available, get back on my exercise wagon (the past two months have been sketchy at best with vacation and traveling for work), start my day earlier, meditate every day, read a book a week, get myself grounded and ready for 2017.

I feel like I’ve got my arms around the eating thing and I can usually figure out the exercise well enough. But when I got to the starting my day earlier idea, I lost my momentum.

Hi, my name is Gayle Hilgendorff, and I enjoy sleeping.

Here’s my reality. I have less early calls this time of year, so the need for me to be up early is diminished. And while I know, understand AND believe in the benefits of getting an early start to the day, I just don’t want to do that on a day I don’t have to.

This is me. This is who I am. This is who I will always be. I’m a sleep later and linger over tea type of gal.

I struggled with myself. Now’s the time to create a new habit to make me a better person! And you can’t see to get up thirty minutes earlier for this benefit?! What kind of a person are you?

I finally admitted, I’m just human. And in my human-ness, I enjoy easing into my day more times than just on a random Sunday morning. So, getting up earlier came off the goal list. Because it didn’t make me feel good.

BUT, this doesn’t mean I can’t find some way to integrate a new healthy habit into my life. I can take all the great suggestions from Tony and from all my other gurus, and find a way to integrate them into my life in a way that will work for ME.

And just like that, I have started splashing cold water on my face when I get out of bed — whenever that may be.

Habits become habits when you go after them in a way that is personal and supportive of your own version of human.

If You Do Nothing Else …

Name one big habit that you’ve been trying to integrate into your life for a while, but are resisting because it doesn’t quite fit your version of human. Good. Now, let go of your need to nail that habit, and find some much smaller version that works for you.

November 4, 2016 Gayle Hilgendorff

Originally published at on November 4, 2016.

Originally published at


  • Gayle Hilgendorff

    Executive Health and Leadership Coach, Thrive Global Facilitator, Author and Aspiring Blogger

    Gayle Hilgendorff Executive Health and Leadership Coach / Thrive Global Facilitator / Aspiring Blogger (corporate2carny) / Author of Live More, Work Better: A Practical Guide to a Balanced Life (Bascom Hill Publishing Group, 2015) Gayle Hilgendorff is a certified executive health and leadership coach who left her Managing Director of Human Resources position at Accenture in 2011 to found her own business focused on helping corporate executives achieve their best, professionally and personally, through better health. While at Accenture, Gayle was responsible for executive career coaching and leadership development programs for a global organization of 30,000 people. After a turning point in her own career, she realized that true leadership and professional success were founded on being a healthy person – mentally, physically and emotionally – not just working harder. Gayle’s health passion became a platform for her consulting work with corporate executives. Working with participants across the globe, she incorporates holistic health concepts into her leadership coaching. Gayle integrates basic knowledge about how eating better, moving more, and finding ways to manage stress are the true foundations for a successful personal and professional life. With science backed concepts, and easy to integrate actions, Gayle’s programs have received high praise and tangible results. Gayle’s background in the corporate world combined with her likable, easy style make her a believable, relatable coach/presenter/author who has proven success in helping people make big change.