On January 1, 2017, millions of people will make New Year’s resolutions. However, reports have shown that more than 80% of people will not stick to their goals. It begs the question; Why do these individuals set goals and fail to achieve them? There are a wide variety of reasons why this occurs. These reasons include but are not limited to:
Improper planning or lack of planning
Lack of determination and willpower
Poor time management
No accountability ….
The list goes on. However, we must dig a little deeper into why most people don’t reach their New Year’s goals. When you dig deeper,, many people don’t believe in themselves or are uncomfortable with change. Some may even put unnecessary pressure on themselves because they think they MUST make a New Year’s resolution.
If you are thinking about setting goals for you New Year’s Resolution, I highly suggest you think about changing your habits instead. You see, many people think a New Year’s resolution is a goal they can set for the new year only. However, if you really want to create change, it’s time to start ditching bad habits and adopting good habits.
Why most people don’t really stick to their New Year’s resolutions
If you read many books, papers, and reports, you are led to believe that it will take 21 days to change a habit. However, there is tons of research that states otherwise. When it all comes down to it, breaking a habit or sticking to a new one depends on a few factors that include but are not limited to the following:
Your desires/ emotions
Your environment ;
And much more
Your short and simple guide to making your New Year’s resolutions stick for a lifetime!
If this is the case, how do you stop making New Year’s resolutions and start sticking to great habits. Well, the first thing you should do is, make a decision that you will make a lifestyle change. Secondly, allow yourself to adapt and give yourself permission to make changes at a pace you feel comfortable with.
It’s no secret that making a lifestyle change is tough, especially if you have been programmed to do certain things a certain way for most of your life. Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, become vegan, or stop a bad habit, you can incorporate daily lifestyle changes that help you do just that. Here are few simple steps that will help you make habit changes for a lifetime.
Identify your habits- When it comes to making changes, you have to first identify what you need to change. Then write down why you want to change your habits, and what benefits will you receive from changing them. For example, if you wanted to lose weight, but you are an unhealthy thinker and eat processed foods everyday, you would have a hard time. So, you would state something like-- I will stop thinking unhealthy and stop consuming processed foods. Instead I eat fruit, vegetables, grains and nuts. I will do this because, I will lose 20 pounds in 3 months and increase my chances of living longer. Of course, that is a basic example, however, you can go into more specific detail.
Keep a journal-- It’s no secret that people who write down their goals have a 80% higher success rate than those who don’t. That’s why it’s imperative that you keep a log or a journal of your new habits. This way you can hold yourself accountable for making daily lifestyle changes.
3. Find a routine- When you are adopting a new habit, it can be difficult to find a routine that works for you. That’s why I suggest you make forming your new habits as routine as brushing your teeth. If you are like most people, you brush your teeth and shower everyday. Therefore when it’s time to adopt a new habit, implement it with something you already do. For example, you can say and do things like:
“ I will eat an apple at 8am and then brush my teeth”
“ I will work out at 6am every morning before I take a shower.”
“ I will meditate for 30 minutes before I turn on my computer.”
“ I will check all my voicemails and emails after I do my breathing exercises.”
If you choose to adapt your habits with things you already do on an automatic basis, you will have a higher success rate of reaching your goals.
4. Reward yourself- Who doesn’t like rewards for a job well done? If you want to give yourself a little incentive to do better, why not create mini challenges with yourself to reach important milestones during your transition. You can give yourself daily, weekly, and monthly rewards. Didn’t eat meat for the whole week? Buy yourself a nice congratulatory present (not food)? Hit your goal of losing 5 pounds for the month? Buy yourself a new piece of wardrobe. (It will look great on the new and improved you!).
5. Get a partner- It’s great when you have someone hold you accountable. It’s like you don’t want to let that person down. Whether it’s your spouse, co-worker, fitness trainer, or someone else, having a partner helps. It will help even more, if you and your partner are working on life changing habits together.
When it comes to creating change for the better, I encourage you to stop waiting until the New Year to make a change. If you want to make a change, it starts with you, right here,and right now. Once you stick to a plan, you will discover that you had all the willpower, determination, and right attitude all along. You can create new habits that will have a positive effect on your life, health and circumstances. What is one habit that you will implement in 2017 and beyond? Tell me in the comment box below!
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