Tired of falling off the New Year’s resolution bandwagon? Create healthy habits instead!
Christmas has come and gone and as we shake off our holiday indulgence, we shift our thinking towards the new year. As the clock strikes midnight, it’s tradition we make resolutions to become better people, living better lives than we had in years gone by. We are compelled to reflect, re-evaluate and re-invent ourselves and our lives. Taking stock of what’s working for you and what’s not is important, as is setting intentions and committing to positive change…
However, how many of us fall of the new year’s resolution bandwagon? As the reality of getting up at 6.30am to head to the gym in the dark becomes farfetched, it’s easy to let long-term goals slide as everyday life gets in the way. The struggle to reach our goals is real and falling short of them can lead to a mini existential crisis – so why do we bother? When procrastination and fear strike, it appears, as Mark Manson puts it, ‘your goals are overrated.’
The motivation behind this ‘new year, new you’ tradition is clear. We want a fresh start. We want the freedom to reinvent ourselves and our lives. Whether it’s running a marathon, getting a promotion or starting your own business – we all have dreams which resurface at this time of year. However, we forget that this is all possible the other 364 days of the year too.
So, what if we approach things differently? What if we deconstruct the process of goal setting? Accumulating healthy habits you build upon month by month, is a sure way to set yourself up for progression and success. So, let’s try rewriting the script. Instead of creating a huge amount of pressure, stress and anxiety this January, let’s look more closely at the nature of habit creation.
What is habit creation?
Everyday life is essentially a collection of habits developed since your childhood. Have you ever noticed that you habitually tie one shoelace first, or drive the same way to work every day? What you do every day ultimately defines the life you lead, the personality you portray and the business you build. However, it’s proven that at this time of year, most of us seek growth and progression.
So, how do we develop healthy habits and create an environment for ourselves that sets us up for success and happiness?
Short-term goal-setting for success
It’s proven that in most cases it takes just 30 days to create a habit. Instead of biting off more than you can chew and setting unrealistic lifelong goals you will probably never reach, focus on creating a new healthy habit every month. Commit to your goal for 30 days instead of the rest of your life. After something becomes a habit, it slots into our lives and becomes almost as second nature as brushing your teeth!
If you‘re thinking – what are the best habits for success in and outside of your career? We’ve rounded up our top 3 to incorporate in 2019.
I know, I know – we all dream of the ultimate beach bod but can’t stomach the gruelling runs in the morning before work or the lunch time HIIT session. But what if we stripped it back to a habit formation of committing to simply move everyday? It doesn’t have to be a structured, planned or thought out gym session to be effective.
It could simply be the habit of going for a ten-minute walk during your lunch break or getting up twenty minutes early for a quick morning stretch. Exercise as we know has endless benefits for our bodies and minds and therefore your business. So, incorporating this into your lifestyle for just 30 days can maximise your focus, concentration and develop your creativity.
As well as saving money, the process of cooking has proven anti-stressing qualities and results in a delicious meal, meaning a triple win. With the fast-paced, busy and results driven lives led by most of us in the ambitious modern world, nutrition and self-care can inevitably take a back seat. In times of high stress, we reach for a quick sugar fix or a strong coffee to stay alert and agile.
But what if simply cooking one home meal a day could set you in good stead for achieving your other goals? Taking the time to prepare a meal – even if you’re a beginner – can help reduce stress and pack your body full of nutrients. If you’re a meal skipper, try making a breakfast like overnight oats in a jar the night before, and start your day off right.
Adopting the monthly goal of trying one new recipe a week might just reignite the creative chef in you and spark some creativity in other avenues of your life.
Probably one of the biggest wellness trends of 2018 is the infamous practice of meditation. We all hear about it and loosely know the benefits – but have you tried it?
Carving out one minute of your day to sit quietly, reflect and let go can only be beneficial. In the land of entrepreneurship, we might struggle to let go of the reigns and feel the need to combat all aspects of the business whole-heartedly.
But taking a step back, breathing and gaining perspective might just be exactly what your goal setting requires. Our best advice is to try an app such as Headspace or Calm and set yourself a 30-day meditation challenge – explore the unknown and it might just be what you were looking for.
Screw New Year’s resolutions
So, there you have it. Instead of falling off the New Year’s resolutions bandwagon, try altering your perspective and gradually mastering new habits that will help you achieve what you desire.
Boost your creativity, regain your focus and maybe further down the line: sign up for that marathon.
Photo by Richard Felix on Unsplash