Your Anti-Resolution Guide to Building Good Habits This Year
If your New Year's resolutions have a track record shorter than a goldfish's attention span, you’re not alone. We’ll spare you the bleak statistics, but suffice it to say that nearly half the population that makes resolutions ditch their goals by the end of January.
Resolutions are chosen once a year; it’s habits that make our everyday lives better. Instead of getting caught up in the new-year-new-me fallacy, learn the science behind building habits and create small changes that you’ll actually stick with.
Science is on Your Side
According to studies highlighted by The Wall Street Journal, habits are more likely to stick when they're anchored in specific cues, routines, and rewards. Understanding this loop can empower us to craft habits that endure. We’re big fans of James Clear, who breaks the choosing and building of habits down into actionable pieces in the best-selling book Atomic Habits. There’s a reason many of the world’s most successful people subscribe to this approach (and even credit habit-building for changing their lives).
The essence of habit-building lies in gradual progress. Instead of overwhelming ourselves with lofty resolutions, start with small, achievable changes. Whether incorporating a five-minute meditation or opting for stairs over the elevator, these tiny shifts create a foundation for larger transformations. You could start by implementing some simple physical activity, like the examples mentioned in part one of our Healthy Aging series.
Consistency is the linchpin of habit formation. Baking your habits into your everyday routines helps you stick with them and practice them daily (or however frequently you’d like). By approaching each day with intention and awareness, we elevate our habits from rote actions to purposeful rituals. And, as James Clear teaches us, we all will have days when we skip or drop our habits, and that is when it is most important not to make skipping or dropping a habit.
Community and Accountability
The journey toward building habits is often more enjoyable and successful when shared. Consider partnering with friends, family, or online communities to foster a shared commitment to your new habit, whether taking a walk every morning, reading a book a month, or learning a new hobby or skill.
Set yourself up for success in 2024 and beyond by building habits the smart way. We’re here to help you get started – contact us today.