Musings

4 habits that are more effective than New Year’s Resolutions

‘Tis the season! Hopefully you are reading this while on a well deserved break from 2018. Along with nominating a favourite December anthem another popular sport this time of year seems to be declaring resolutions. The grander the better. I’m not violently opposed to people trying to better themselves. In fact I used to diligently write resolutions in my journal every year. Then I noticed that I was mostly repeating the same things so I stopped. Which doesn’t mean I became less ambitious or dedicated. What I needed to do was find better ways to motivate myself so I took a look around at some habits that were working for other people and I’m going to share them here.

1 Write all the highlights as they happen and save them in a jar

The idea is that at the end of the year you can look back and reflect on all the positive moments. I’m a fan of this plan because I’m a compulsive list maker anyway. The notes can be a convenient pick me up anytime you need to remember how brilliant you truly are. Some of the pictures I’ve seen have the notes in different colours, proof that motivation and being Pinterest ready are not mutually exclusive.

2 Find accountability partners

There is an Instagram famous proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Which is a fancy way of pointing out that it is often easier to achieve goals if other people know about said goals. For example if you tell your colleagues that you want to quit sugar you are less likely to be reaching for the doughnuts at the morning meeting. Not all accountability needs to happen in real life. There are plenty of apps, support groups and forums willing to cheer you online.

3 Be specific about your motivation

In order for you to achieve the things you want, they have to be meaningful to you. A very common resolution is lose weight/get fitter because we have been socialised to see certain body types as ideal. If you are happy with the way you look this goal will not happen as you simply do not care enough to follow though. If it was something more specific like “train to run half marathon so I can raise funds for my favourite charity” then you are more likely to succeed as you are vested. So pick something you care about and it will flow.

4 Practice being kind to yourself

Sometimes when we don’t achieve certain milestones our immediate response is to berate ourselves. This is not helpful and it does not encourage us to keep trying. The next time something does not go according to plan simply step back and look at the process up to that point with no judgement. Then decide if you want to try again while self correcting or begin something else. Either way remember to be kind to yourself and be deliberate about self care throughout the year.

What are your thoughts about New Year’s Eve resolutions? Let me know in the comments below

 

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