Want to Keep Your Resolutions? Make Them Habits
We all resolve to give something up, to eat better, live better, exercise more and make more money in the upcoming year. 95% of resolutions fail because we lack the motivation to stay focused and succeed. A resolution should be something you can successfully achieve. It should be something you truly want and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen. It also needs to be fun so you retain the enthusiasm to reach your goal. New research (USC Journal of Personality and Psychology) suggest that to change, it might work better to focus on habits as opposed to willpower. Using will power we strive to change our behavior by applying motivation and self-control. This can be challenging because motivation and self-control implies the ability to stay focused even when external situation lack rewards or punishments, which is usually what motivated people. Instead we should be thinking about changing our habits.
Habits persist even when we don’t have the energy to exercise motivation and self-control. So if we can set up new habits we might be better at achieving our goals. Research shows that people tend to default to a habit when stressed. So to keep our resolutions we might want to create healthy habits. To do this we need to create easy repeatable routines.
Routine number one; try physical literacy. Find an exercise class that fits into your schedule and that you enjoy. Studies show that when we enjoy something we tend to repeat it over and over. You become literate in terms of physical vitality and adaptability. It becomes a habit. So when stress hits we default to the habit of exercise.
Routine number two; Make it a habit to eat one healthy meal a day. Every day I eat yogurt and fruit topped with hemp seeds. This habit gives me a full range of important nutrients. No matter what else I eat throughout the day I’ve given myself good health in this one meal. When stressed I default to this healthy snack. It powers me with anti- stressing nutrients and supports my healthy habit.
Routine number three; just remember everything in life must give to receive. Sacrifice is the law of life. A candle burns and melts away to give us light. A tree grows to give shade, fruit and flowers. To achieve your goals make it a habit to focus on what you can give as opposed to what you will get. Soon the habit of giving will be rewarded with achievement.
Want to keep your resolutions? Make them good habits and your resolutions will persist even when you are stressed and don’t have the energy to exercise self-motivation and control. When making your resolutions remember, your dreams, your life and your happiness must be fed or they will wither and die. So contemplate, choose wisely and feed your life habits full of happiness, prosperity, health and peace. Resolve to make these your New Year’s habits.
Happy New Year!