Are you planning on making New Year’s Resolutions? Maybe you’re one of those people who’s given up on them as they simply never work out. If you want to make New Year’s Resolutions work for you, it’s not enough to give them a different name (like some people suggest such as “Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, set goals!”), same difference.
The secret to achieving any goal, whether you set it at the beginning of the year of at any other time, is to change your habits, to make small consistent changes that move you towards your goal one step at a time. The only question that now remains is, which habits do you need to change?
Which habits you need to change depends on your goal, of course, but it’s not always as obvious as it first seems. If your goal is to stop smoking, simply not lighting up whenever the urge strikes is not going to work. Otherwise you would have done it a long time ago. You need to put another habit in place that you can do instead in addition to sorting out your nicotine cravings and maybe adding some hypnotherapy into the mix.
What if your NYR is to write a book? Creating a writing habit will be key but also setting up your environment to do so.
What is a key habit?
The first habit that springs to mind is not always the habit that will be key to achieving your goal. You need to work backwards from the goal such as “In order to achieve this I need to … .” Do this several times until you find the key habit for your goal.
Creating new habits is not always easy but it can be a simple process. You have to make your new habit
Obvious (set up your environment to automatically trigger the habit)
Attractive (add your new habit to something you already happily do)
Easy (start with small steps)
Satisfying (find a reward that works well for you)
And a key for stopping a bad habit is to find a good habit to replace them. Combine this with doing the opposite of the 4 steps above for the bad habit and you’re on your way.
Another important factor is to add only one habit at a time. Trying to change too much at once will only result in overwhelm, and you’ll feel like giving up. If you do want to make multiple changes in your life, start with the most important one first. Once you’ve firmly established the new habit, then you are ready to work on the next one. This approach is much more likely to lead you to success.