“2016 is approaching and I am going to start this New Year on a clean slate”
Pumped up that I am going to start my New Year on a clean slate, its then time for me to set my goals and intentions and make the changes I want to see in my life, to get rid of all the bad habits and usher in some good ones. & when February comes by, many of my resolutions are already half way down the drain – abandoned or forgotten.
Sound too familiar?
After years of failed planning of New Year resolutions, you will realise that New Year’s resolutions are kind of like you entertaining a drunk friend. You know you shouldn’t take him/her too seriously…but you can’t help but laugh and play along when he/she comes around once a year.
So why do we struggle so much to follow through with the resolutions we set for ourselves?
It boils down to one thing:
RESOLUTION VS. HABIT
First, think back to your resolutions from last January. Did you follow through? Do you even remember what they were? Yet how many of us were tempted to make more resolutions this year? Have you ever thought that you may be going down an entirely wrong direction? It is human nature that we have this tendency to focus on big goals and hopes rather than creating a path for the formation of good habits.
According to Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter and author of The Power of Habit, “Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision-making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, what we say to our kids each night, whether we save or spend, how often we exercise, the way we organize our thoughts and work routines have enormous impacts on our health, productivity, financial security and happiness.”
So how do we actually make our resolutions come true? The key is to make any of your new year goals a habit first. Secondly, make it a tiny one – let’s start small.
Here are some examples you can follow:
- Resolution: Lose weight vs.Habit: Go for a run around the block after work every day for about 20 minutes
- Resolution: Start eating healthy food vs.Habit: Start substituting that 1 daily morning pastry for a banana
Make it a HABIT, not a Resolution
Your list of habits will have to be converted into realistic actionable items. Say for example your resolution is to lose weight. Your next step would be turning this resolution into an activity by breaking them down into actionable steps such as
Step 1: Buy myself a new sports shoe!
Step 2: Not forgetting sportswear
Step 3: Go for jogs around my neighbourhood every Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am.
Breaking these actions down can help you to turn this into habitual behavior overtime!
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your New Year HABITS for 2016!