Ah, it must be that time of year again. The hope, the determination, the insistence that this year you will stick to all those resolutions you made as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Look, I know 2020 was a rough year for so many of us, and the last thing I want to be is the bearer of even more bad news. But here’s the rub: You probably won’t achieve those things you promised yourself. At least, not without changing the way you look at goal setting altogether.
In the US, for example, research suggests just 25 per cent of people will still be sticking to their resolutions by the end of January — and only eight per cent will actually accomplish them.
And the news is even worse in Australia, where a study last year found our “Quit Day” — the day most of us will have thrown our resolutions out the window — was January 19.
So what are these promises we’re breaking? To be a little more active is by far the most popular, followed by improving our diets, losing weight and sticking to a money-saving budget.
But whether yours is one of those, or something else entirely, there are some simple but sure-fire ways to ensure 2021 really is the year you accomplish what you set out to achieve.
I’m in the middle of writing a new book that will focus on the power of the mind when it comes to achieving healthiness and happiness and in researching it, I’ve spoken to a lot of people about the power of habits.
See, having a goal is great, but it’s not enough. Goals are the destination, but they won’t get you there. That’s where habits come in.
This year, I want you to think of those resolutions as the goal, but then break them down further into daily habits that will help you achieve them.
Setting out to lose 25kg by June is a goal, for example, but it’s the tiny things you do each day that will actually get you there. So how can you build these habits? That’s exactly what I’m hacking this week.
But first, a very Happy New Year to you all!
FAST FACTS ON …
STICKING TO NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
1. Press reset
This is the perfect time of year to hit reset on our daily routines, sniffing out the things that cause our bad habits and replacing them with things that inspire better choices.
Perhaps it’s picking a new route home that doesn’t take you past the take-out joint or pub. Or hiding the unhealthy food in your fridge out of sight. Or even getting up an hour earlier in the morning, giving you 60 minutes to introduce new habits before your day even begins.
2. Be your own drill sergeant
Something you do only once isn’t habit. The trick here is to repeat the good stuff, over and over again, until it becomes the most natural part of your day. According to most studies, a new habit can take as little as 15 days to cement itself into your routine.
3. Stack them up
Just like bad habits have a tendency to follow each other around, so do good ones. So if you go the gym and then seek out a healthier lunch, and it becomes a habit, then you’ll find yourself eating healthier meals after every gym visit, maximising your bang for buck.