Happy 2020! Wow, we are already one week into the new year.
How is it going so far with your New Year’s resolutions?
Are you making more time for your friends and family?
Are you showing up more fully as an inspiring leader at work?
Are you making your health and well-being a priority?
Or have you, like me, given up on New Year’s resolutions altogether?
I did so as a teenager, after observing myself not sticking to them for a couple of years – and long before having encountered the powerful science of habits. Which is what now makes me review and adjust my daily habits in a constant process, and be more considerate about setting the right iind of goals. It does not really matter when you set your intention for making a change, large or small.
The key question is: How to make the change stick?
Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg has very helpful answers and shares them in this “How To” podcast’s episode on making New Year’s resolutions stick.
Perhaps you need a little help to stay on track, to rejiggle the size and shape of your resolution, or to get a bit of motivation to not fall off the wagon. Perhaps you need to hop back on, and why shoudn’t you? Then here are a few pointers for making any kind change resolution stick:
Replace your resolution with a plan of action. The more you focus on your daily actions instead of the outcome you’d like to achieve, the more likely you will succeed. It’s scientifically proven.
Make it doable. The smaller your plan, the better. How can you make it easier for yourself?
Seek expert advice and/ or find someone to change with. Not letting down your running buddy who is waiting for you in the cold at 6.30 am, will have you put on those running shoes.
Anticipate and visualise where you might fail, and how you will deal with obstacles. Here’s a simple and great tool for that: WOOP.
Don’t focus on your losses. Look for the wins! Watch out for the small improvements you’re making every day or week.
Reward yourself. When you’ve succeeded in sticking to your plan today, give yourself a high five and a checkmark on your calendar to see your success right in front of you.
If there is one single advice to give on making a habit stick, I would opt for: Focus on your baby steps.