How to stick to a new years Resolution
Let’s face it: most of us fail when it comes to sticking to resolutions — so much so that many people swear never to make resolutions again.
And yet the rest of us are eternally hopeful when the New Year comes around, believing without any credible evidence that we can improve our lives, that change is possible, that we’re not going to be stuck in the same old rut again this year.
Well your right, you don’t have to be!
I’m here to tell you that you can do it. It’s possible. I’ll show you how.
New Year’s Resolutions usually fail because of a combination of some of these reasons:
We try to do too many resolutions at once, and that spreads our focus and energies too thin. It’s much less effective to try to create too many habits at once habits at once
We only have a certain amount of enthusiasm and motivation, and it runs out because we try to do too much, too soon. We spend all that energy in the beginning and then run out of steam.
We try to do really tough habits right away, which means it’s too difficult and we become overwhelmed or intimidated by the difficulty and quit.
We try to be “disciplined” and crate unpleasant habits, but our nature won’t allow that to last for long. If we really don’t want to do something, we won’t be able to force ourselves to do it for long.
Life gets in the way. Things come up unexpectedly that get in the way of us sticking with a habit.
Resolutions are often vague — for example: I’m going to exercise! — But don’t contain a concrete action plan and don’t use proven habit creation techniques. That’s a recipe for failure.
Here is a method by which,
We only focus on one habit change at a time, so our focus and energies aren’t spread thinly.
We implement the habit changes gradually, so we don’t run out of steam.
We start out really, really easily, so it isn’t intimidating.
We focus on enjoyable activities, so we don’t need “discipline”.
We have two months to do the habit change, so if something comes up; it’s but a small bump in the road. And because we’re publicly committed, we’re going to get back on track.
We have a very specific plan with actions built in, using proven habit change techniques.
Pick 6 habits for 2012
Pick 1 of the 6 habits to start with.
Commit as publicly as possible to creating this new habit in 2 months.
Break the habit into 8 baby steps, starting with a ridiculously easy step. Example: if you want to floss, the first step is just to get out a piece of floss at the same time each night.
Choose a trigger for your habit – something already in your routine that will immediately precede the habit. Examples: eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, showering, waking up, arriving at the office, leaving the office, getting home in the evening.
Do the 1st, really easy baby step for one week, right after the trigger. Declare you intention publicly.
Each week, move on to a slightly harder step. You’ll want to progress faster, but don’t. Repeat this process for each of you steps. Remember you are building a new habit. Repeat this process until you’ve done 8 weeks.
You have now created a new habit which will form part of your every day routine. Congratulations! Now, repeat for resolution no.2!