Happy New Year!
Hope you enjoyed your holidays and had some quality time with family and friends. I sure did. It was nice to enjoy the down time and relax and think ahead. Although some people like to reflect and reminisce about the year gone by, others look forward to the new year and new beginnings. The start of a new year is a great time to commit to making changes in your life, whether it eating healthier, exercising more, changing jobs, joining a church group, or getting involved in a new group to build some new relationships. You have plenty of choices and decisions to make. Why is it with all these good intentions, so many people fall short, especially over time?
Unfortunately, our society often expects change to happen over night. This however, is not always possible or realistic. Change takes will power, commitment, and the formation of a new habit. In fact, according to the January/February 2016, Experience Life article, Build Better Habits, by Brian Johnson, “Good habits are the key to success, because when you have them in place, you don’t need to negotiate with yourself all day long about whether you’ll work out or eat right. The most successful among us have figured out how to use willpower to create habits that work so well that we practice them without ever having to exert our will.”¹
What new habits would you like to put in place for the new year? Now is the perfect time to commit to them. Make sure you write them down and the benefits you will receive. Keep your list in a place where you will see it often, such as your refrigerator, your desk, or night stand. That way it will remind you of the new habit you are working to establish.
Following are some Key Points to Establishing a New Habit from the article to help you out:
- Unlock Your Keystone Habit—Identify one habit that will have the greatest impact in your life and master it whether it is exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables, organizing, etc.
- Know Your Why—Make a list of benefits you will receive from installing your new habit (this is the WHY). If you remember the why, you should be able to endure how to get there.
- Make a 100% Commitment—When you decide to do something, you need to really commit to it and make it non-negotiable. This way you will stay on track.
- Practice Daily—You need to practice your new habit daily. Track your progress on a calendar and stick to it. Obviously there will be days when you have to miss. (i.e. If you are sick, or have some special event you have to go to, etc., but just start back in with it the next day to keep on track.)
- Make it Easy—Start out small and build from there. (i.e. If your goal is to walk every day, start with 1 mile versus 5 miles.)
- Embrace the Process—It takes 30 days to establish a new habit. At first it might be hard, but as you get further along, the task gets easier and easier. After awhile, you most likely will be looking forward to doing your new habit instead of regretting it.²
Thanks for reading!