New Year’s Day, the day where resolutions are made. A clean slate, a new chapter, a blank page to write a new story. Every New Year’s Day, I am so excited to begin again. I announce to the world “This will be my year, I will lose weight, get out of debt, exercise….” and by week two, the shiny New Year has dulled. I’m back to my old routines and habits and the resolutions are erased from my memory.
This New Year’s I am trying something different instead of making resolutions, I am changing my habits one percent at a time. I was introduced to the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, and am using the framework that he outlines in his book. In his book, he teaches you the strategies that will help you master the tiny behaviors that lead to practical results. One percent may not seem like a huge change, but it can add up very quickly.
For example, you want to start exercising. In the past you were all excited to change, vowing to push play for an hour a day. Day one, was great you are motivated, it is new, by day 3 you realize you don’t have an hour, so you can’t exercise, but tomorrow you will. Then there is excuse after excuse, and it’s been 10 days since you have exercised, and you feel like a failure.
James Clear suggests:
- Start with an incredibly small habit- let’s take exercise start with 10 minutes a day. You will see the success and want to do more.
- Increase your habit in very small ways- if you exercise one percent more, or increase the intensity one percent more those improvements add up fast. Starting small and sticking to it will have better long term results than if you start strong and then decline.
- As you build up, break habits into chunks- when you get up to 30 minutes of exercising break it down into 10-minute chunks.
- When you slip, get back on track quickly- Planning is Key! You need to plan, for the things that may get in your way. How are you going to keep up with your responsibilities at home or at work? If something pulls you away from your routine how are you going to get back on course?
Which New Year’s Habit are you going to work on this year? Comment below, and let’s help each other.