It’s a week before Christmas and everyone is busy with last-minute errands, baking, and other preparations for the holidays. Probably sometime soon after we’ve all enjoyed a good number of yummy treats to celebrate, we’ll start thinking about the year ahead. With 1 or 10 glasses of wine of course. For many of us, that leads to the annual New Year’s resolutions.
I don’t much like resolutions, mostly because they’re so hard to keep. I do love the idea of a clean slate. The new year feels like an empty notebook on the first day of school, pure and shiny and full of potential. However, after a few days or weeks our enthusiasm usually wanes. Before long the resolutions are forgotten, put away on the shelf until the next year. Rinse and repeat, right?
What I’ve found to be much more successful for creating change in our lives is to focus on our habits rather than the outcome we desire. If we work on our behaviors, we’ll find those end goals a lot easier to attain.
This is the first in my “Healthy Habits” series of how-to articles for the new year that will help you create a road map for those healthy outcomes that can sometimes feel overwhelming to achieve.
Today’s task is simple.
I’ll bet most of us have figured out what we would like to do differently in the new year. Have it in your head now? Great! Now, let’s take a step back. Why is it important to you? Write that “what” down if you want, and then beneath it write why you want to make the change. Hate writing stuff down? That’s cool. Just start rolling around those ideas in your head. There’s no pressure to do anything.
If you came up with a big list of reasons, that’s great! Or maybe there’s one really important “why” on your list that is compelling enough to you to make that a change that you’re ready to work on next year.
Maybe you’re falling short of reasons. If that task was really difficult, ask yourself if that goal was really so important to you after all. Ask yourself how important it is to change. If it’s not that important to you, it might be a sign that the goal isn’t something you’re really ready to work on right now. That’s okay too! Sometimes we tell ourselves that we need to change because we feel like we’re supposed to. Ain’t nobody got time for that! We’re a lot less likely to make a long term change in our habits if we don’t internally feel like they’re really important to us.
So that’s it for today. Work on your why. It’ll make a big difference in what lies ahead for what you choose to change and how you get there. Want to share your own what and why? Leave a comment below! Congrats on making the first step in discovering how to make a sustainable change that will last far beyond January.