With 2019 upon us, everyone is making resolutions and big goals for the year. However, the reality is that most people will ditch these after only a couple of weeks. Why is this? Is it because they (1) do not have the proper habits in place, or (2) are looking for quick fixes when most positive changes take time, or (3) are trying to add too much on at one time.
“Habits are the compound interest of improvement.” — James Clear
1. Not Having The Proper Habits In Place
People tend to believe they can use willpower to get what they want. Willpower is a finite resource and we only have so much of it. If you are trying to stop eating sweets, go to the gym more, and start a morning journaling practice, our mind will struggle with these if we just try to power through. We must set-up the right environments to create the habits that we want. Start by not buying sweets if you know you will want to snack on them at night. Lay your workout clothes out to force yourself to stumble over them when you wake up. You can also put your journal on your desk so you physically have to move them. Creating the right environment will make your new habits easier. Once you have the right habits in place, your goals will be one step closer and much easier to achieve.
2. Stop Looking For Quick Fixes
Changes take time. You can’t expect to go the gym once and all of a sudden lose weight. It is consistently putting in the work that will help you achieve the results you want. If your goal this year is to lose 20 lbs and keep it off, don’t just go on a crash diet to start the year. Start by only buying real foods, drink more water and cut out snacks. Set a plan to go to the gym, but remind yourself that you don’t have to start with workouts that kill you or you will resent exercising. Try doing five to ten minutes of movement in the morning and build up from there. Once you start believing you are the type of person that eats healthy and exercises, you will naturally want to do it more often. You will begin to see these habits as part of who you are and it will become a lifestyle. Creating lifestyle changes is what we are really looking for and how we get lasting results. You must see the process as part of who you are.
3. Start Small
When you are looking to make changes, don’t try too many things at once. Start small and build off your wins. If you want to start a journaling habit, you don’t need to tell yourself you will write multiple pages per day. You can start with one sentence. After a few days you will naturally begin to open up and write more. If we start with doing too much at first, it is easier for us to fail. Once we fail, we start believing that we are not the type of person that does “X.” Start small and make consistent improvements. You will then become determined to keep it up. If you happen to get off track, make sure to start back as quick as you can. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It is the small consistent effort that wins over time.
To Sum It Up
I want 2019 to be your biggest year yet! One of the keys to this is not getting frustrated out of the gate and falling back into your bad habits. Start by creating your goals and then come up with a plan to achieve them. Create the right environments in order to make your habits sustainable. You must turn your new habits into a lifestyle, and this means falling in love with the process and changing how you view yourself. You must think about the long game and not get caught up in quick fixes. Make sure to start small so you can achieve some wins from the beginning. Lastly, if you get thrown off track make sure to start back as quick as you can. Missing one day is fine, but when that day turns into a week, it can quickly derail all of your goals.