Stop making resolutions! Statistically, resolutions have become an an inconsistent way to create the change in your life that you want.
Several years ago I made a list of “resolutions” that I wanted to see happen. On that list was to “read more”. I got really specific with this part of my resolution. You see, I had a friend who was reading nearly a book a week and was really impacted by what he was reading. It was helping him professionally and personally.
I wanted to see the same impact so on my resolutions list so I put I “read more” as one of the top resolutions. I even listed the books I wanted to read. I just new if I read these books that would make a valuable difference in my life.
Here was the problem I wasn’t processing at the time…. reading 52 books in a year is quite challenging! I had not processed the challenge that would be considering where I was in my life at that time. I never took into consideration that my friend didn’t have kids at home like I did. He did’t have all of the commitments that I did. You see, he was much further down the road of life that I was.
He also read really, really well – and fast! Guess what….. I don’t! By the third week I hadn’t finished my first book and you can imagine how I felt – disappointed in myself. January wasn’t even over and I had all ready failed.
Have you ever made a resolution like that? A resolution that you weren’t able to keep beyond the first month? Here’s my advice…. STOP making resolutions and START making habits that you can keep! Habits are completely different than resolutions.
Here are 7 ways to STOP making resolutions and how to make your habits stick
Habits are vital for personal and professional growth. Resolutions have become something that most people mock because few people can keep them. Why? I believe (just like my personal story above) that there isn’t enough structure to a resolution.
Habits however are proven (if done correctly) to stick.
Clarify Your Habit
Clarity is vital when creating habits. It goes way beyond an emotional thought like (in my case) “read more”. I didn’t really have on paper “why” I wanted to read more. I never asked the question “what am I trying to accomplish”. If I would have asked that question, I would have discovered that I didn’t need 52 books to achieve what I was looking for. Make sure you clarify the “why” before you attempt the “what”.
Simplicity often times is misunderstood. There is absolutely no need to make things complex, especially when you are making a new habit. If you make it difficult – you put yourself in a position to fail. Make things really, really simple especially in the beginning.
Make An Iron-Clad Plan
What get’s measured get’s achieved. Period. Make a full blown plan that takes you from beginning to end. Make your plan flexible enough to bend. You may encounter situations where you have to shift your plans. The best habits are formed from a plan.
Make it Daily
Habits that aren’t daily are rarely achieved. Even if you only need 5 minutes a day; that’s all you need. Small doses can be incredibly invaluable. Take them – every day.
Tune Out Noise
If you research habits, you will see a” lot of “21 day” based habit building formulas. Can you form your habits in 21 days? Maybe – maybe not. The point is don’t worry about it – just make your plan and follow them. Whether it takes 10 days, 21 days, or 30; it doesn’t matter.
Accountability is vital to any habit forming plan. Find someone you can trust to help you stick to your goal. Someone who can cheer you along your journey.
Above All – Be Realistic
Here’s the reality….. Making new habits is a process. You can walk 100 miles without walking the first one. You have to go in open minded; especially when you are attempting to create a larger habit that’s going to take a lot from you. Give yourself enough room to make some mistakes throughout your journey. It’s ok! It’s apart of the journey!
It’s Your Turn
Are you willing to set obtainable habits for 2015? What are you going to be willing to do to get them? Just START! Don’t wait and allow yourself to become discouraged!