Last time we introduced you to tips, tricks, and guidelines to establishing and maintaining healthy habits –after your retreat– that can last a lifetime. This is the second installment.

(for Part 1 of this article, please click here:

How to Sustain New Habits (continued)

  • Surround yourself with positive people. If you’re the only one among your family or friends who’s interested in making serious changes, then find a community of people who are committed to doing the same. Learn from them and practice together, setting a regular schedule to meet. Finding new positive energy is just as important as ridding yourself of negative influences.
  • Eliminate all sources of temptation: people, places, and things which will lure you back into your unhealthy former lifestyle. Don’t take chances with this!
  • Take the time to rejuvenate your healthy habits every 6-12 months. Plan every year with an annual retreat or refresher training, even if it’s only 2-3 days long. Maybe two of them!
  • Studies show that repeating a new behaviour for 21 consecutive days helps solidify it in your mind. It starts to become more automatic and effortless. This is the most crucial period to not let up!

Ultimately there’s nothing more important to your success than keeping up with your good habits as soon as you get back, and creating the right environment to help you succeed.  This gives anyone a better chance at creating new lifestyle practices that will become life-long habits.

Don’t Fall Victim to the Pitfalls of Guilt and Embarrassment

We all miss that occasional workout, meditation session, yoga class, or whatever else we’ve scheduled into our busy lives.  We can also all get off track in our intended diets, with a cheat meal or at parties.  You planned it, but didn’t follow through.  What follows?  Guilt, embarrassment, negative thoughts, discouragement, and serious self-doubts which should serve as motivation to stay the course …but instead create the temptation to abandon ship altogether.


The worst thing you can do after tripping up once is to stop altogether. The best part of meditation, yoga, and healthy eating is that the benefits add up slowly over time. They don’t happen instantly and they don’t disappear just because you missed a session or 2. If you find yourself feeling guilty that you only meditated for 14 minutes instead of 20, or haven’t practiced your yoga in 2 weeks, take a moment to remind yourself that it’s a new practice. It is a lifelong commitment; a marathon and not a sprint.

Pressure = Anxiety = Quitting

The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect and flawless often interfere with doing something at all. These are unrealistic expectations, and a product of the conditioning from society. If this happens at any time after a retreat, stop and take a deep breath. Don’t allow the negative thoughts to creep in. Stay in control. Instead of feeling guilty, take five minutes to clear your mind, reset, and remind yourself of all the benefits which made you start in the first place. Don’t do anything else until you’re fully calm and at ease with the reality of missing a beat. Then go forward and start again.

This will make the difference between giving up and feeling regret, or being fair with yourself and continuing for years to come.

To your health!

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About the Author: Sal Ragusa was born in 1976, and has lived half his life in Toronto and the other half in Montreal, where he currently resides. His comical and sometimes profound Social Media Posts are all the rage among his followers, and after years of being told that he should share his writing skills with the world, Sal has decided to bring his works to market.