As we near the end of the year, a couple of questions come to mind. Firstly, how much of the Christmas dinner can I eat, secondly where will I be spending New Year’s Eve, and finally what will my New Year’s resolutions be? New year’s resolutions can be a touchy subject, especially when you have spent years making new ones and not committing to them. Goals are an important part of life and achieving them makes them that much more worth it.
How many times have you written down all the goals you wish to achieve on January 1st, and found nothing later after not making the appropriate steps to achieve them months down the line? It can be deflation looking back at the goals and dreams you could have achieved if you just showed some resilience and taken action. This simple factor is often the reason why we give up on dreams because we create a self-fulfilling prophecy that we can not even do the things that we set out for ourselves, so why expect more? Well, this year that needs to change. New year’s resolutions are not enough, from now on we are starting new habits before the year ends to step into the new year with a better mindset.
Why Habits And Not New-Year’s Resolutions
Creating new years resolutions without a plan as to how you will implement them is like waiting at a bus stop where you know the bus is not operating. You did not make the effort to check what time the bus is coming, and yet you still just expect it to come to you? The problem with just setting goals is that you do not clearly outline how you might achieve them.
Of course, it is easy to say you will lose weight by going to the gym, but you need to be specific about all the habits involved. What are all the factors that currently stop you from losing weight? What will your diet consist of? What days of the week will you attend the gym? Do you have your Gym membership yet? Creating a habit-stacking list of what needs to be done is a great way to put everything in front of you that needs implementing.
Small Habits Make Big Changes
Simple changes to become a healthier version of you can include the smallest of habits. Perhaps you have huge goals that you know you are capable of, but you just aren’t sure where to start. Making small habits into your daily routine can change the trajectory of your life. These changes can be as small as spending 30 seconds a day stretching if you are looking to improve the health of your joints. Or you might start your new habits with habit’ pairing’ which essentially attaches your current behaviours to the new behaviour you wish to form. For example, if you have a goal of drinking more water, as you brush your teeth each morning and night, you might drink a glass of water before or after each time you perform the existing habit. It can be as easy as this to change your habits for the better.
How To Make Habits Easy
If you have ever had a failed gym goal, where you could not find the strength to get to the gym, it is simply because your brain was not disciplined enough. Perhaps you did all the steps you thought you needed to yet you still found 100 excuses not to attend the fitness session. As going to the gym was a new habit, your brain was not automated to think about the great feeling of going to the gym, and instead, it considered the short-term discomfort of putting your body through stress. These types of feelings will be a given with any new habit you try to implement, but making the behaviours as easy as possible will be the difference between consistency and failure.
If you want to streamline your new habits and make them as doable as you can, you need to trick yourself to make them seem easy. It might sound silly, but making habits easy will make them stick in the long run. If you want to lose weight by going to the gym, you might always have your gym bag packed the night before, or laid out ready to get dressed. You might also purposely pick a gym that is right next to your home, or even better next to your workplace as you will be out of the house anyway. These small tricks will convince you that you are not using up as much energy as you would, therefore you feel more obligated to complete the habit.
New Habit Inspiration
If you are still looking for habits to implement to better yourself, here are some valuable behaviours you might consider making to become a better person ahead of the new year:
Budget, Save Not Spend
If you are looking to save more money for long-term investments, or you want to create more disposable income for spontaneous holidays, you should start improving your spending habits. A trick that we would recommend is firstly to revise where your unnecessary spending is coming from. If it comes from eating out, each time you consider spending money on drinks or fast food, place the money into a savings pot that you would’ve spent otherwise. Creating a space for this money separate from your normal bank will give you accountability for your spending.
Look More Presentable
It is said that you should dress for the job that you want instead of the job you have. If you have got into a bad habit of looking underdressed and just overall not presentable on a day-to-day basis, there are simple steps you can make. Mornings before heading off to work can be rushed and stressful therefore it would make sense to throw on whatever clothing you can find. Instead, iron and lay out your clothes the night before. Even better, spend some time on the weekend planning your outfits for the week for each day. Swap your old work pants for some dressy leggings and a smart shirt. You would easily automate the habit of looking presentable before the week has begun.
Read More Books
If you are looking to become more literate and educated on specific topics, you should try to make the habit of reading seem more attractive and easily done. If you spend your evenings on your phone scrolling mindlessly on social media, you might consider putting a time limit on apps, if not locking your phone at least an hour before you sleep. All of your other activities should be done before this hour of reading, and at this point, it should just be you and your chosen book. If you struggle to concentrate, start small and set yourself a target of at least two pages a night. The more you perform the habit, the more pages you will continue to read until you eventually finish the book with the habit of reading imprinted in your mind.