Why creating new habits is so important
New year’s habits – it’s not a phrase you usually hear. We are all familiar with New Year’s resolutions, and as time goes by, many people just give up on them. But why? It makes perfect sense to set ourselves new standards at the start of a new year.
It’s simple, many of us learn from bitter experience that our resolve isn’t what it should be. According to YouGov, in 2016, a third of people had ditched their resolutions by the end of January. And only about 10% stick to their goals long term. There are many ways to become part of the 10%, but one of the keys is to turn your resolutions into habits.
New Year’s habits – The secret to successful resolutions
It is easy to feel excited and motivated for a day. Especially when we have had time off and are away from the usual grind of the 9 to 5. But the problem with motivation is that it can easily wane, as we have seen. Motivation is what you need to get you started, but good habits are what keep you going.
When something is a habit (good or bad) it is something we do consistently but with little or no thought. That is the goal, to establish the new behaviours in a way that we carry them out almost automatically.
But what do you need to do to turn a resolution into a habit?
How to purposefully create good new year’s habits
Although the goal is for the new behaviour to become second nature, in the early stages the change in behaviour requires conscious effort.
Neuroscientists have shown that we only have a limit amount of capacity for conscious thought. Our brain likes to conserve energy, and that is why we do so many things on autopilot.
The key to establishing new habits is to focus lots of your energy on that one goal. If you have a lot of New Year’s resolutions tackle them one at a time. Once you have success in one area it will give you the confidence to tackle the second thing on your list.
Part of making your change conscious is to write things down. Keeping a journal or diary will enable you to better monitor your progress and will help to make you more determined. It’s also a good way to be able to review your successes as you progress.
Many habits are formed with other people (especially bad ones). Most people start drinking or smoking along with peers. So to form a good habit, find some support. If you want to go the gym find a gym buddy if you want to lose weight find an ally. Moral support and having an accountability partner strengthen your chances of succeeding.
Most of all, get expert guidance. If you still need to change a behaviour, then the chances are there is still more you can learn about the new behaviour.
If you want to eat healthily make sure you consult a qualified nutritionist. And if you want to look after your body, make sure you get expert advice and help.
Good luck, and we hope you have a Happy 2018.
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