New Year always brings new hope, new ideas and aspirations. We all set resolutions to change our habits. It could be weight loss, smoking, exercise, charity, work ethic….
Sadly over 90% of us fail to achieve our best intended ideas – So here are just a few tips and habits that might help you create some other habits that will help you not just in the New Year – but all year.
“Practice does not make perfect – it makes permanent. We are what we repeatedly do. Success and excellence can be habitual”. – Ian Dickson
How to Develop the Habits
1. Develop a habit of being a positive thinker. I put this first because I think it’s the keystone habit that will help you form the other important habits. Focus on this habit first, and you’ll have a much easier time with any of the others. Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk
2. Exercise. It makes you feel better about yourself, and more confident. That leads to better success with other positive changes. It reinforces the positive thinking habit — you need to think positive in order to sustain exercise. It relieves stress and gives you time to think — this leads to better mental well-being in your life overall.
3. Focus on one goal. Just as focusing on one task at a time is more effective, and focusing on one habit at a time is more effect, so is focusing on one goal at a time. While it might seem very difficult, focusing on one goal at a time is the most powerful way of achieving your goals. When you try to take on many goals at once, you’re spreading thin your focus and energy — the two critical components for achieving a goal.
What if you have 5 goals you want to achieve? Pick one to focus on first. Break it into a mini-goal you can accomplish this month, if it’s a longer-term goal. Pick an action you can do today.
4. Eliminate the non-essential. First, identify the essential — the things in your life that are most important to you, that you love the most. Then eliminate everything else. This simplifies things and leaves you with the space to focus on the essential. This process works with anything — with your life in general, with work projects and tasks, with emails and other communication.
This will change your life because it will help you to simplify, to focus on what’s important, and to build the life you want.
5. Kindness. Yes, kindness is a habit. And it can be cultivated. Focus on it every day for a month and you’ll see profound changes in your life. You’ll feel better about yourself as a person. You’ll see people react to you differently and treat you better, over the long run. It’s karma.
How do you develop the kindness habit? First, make it a goal to do something kind for someone each day. At the beginning of the day, figure out what that kind act will be and then do it during the day. Second, each time you interact with someone, try to be kind, be friendly, be compassionate. Third, try to go beyond small kindnesses to larger acts of compassion, volunteering to help those in need and taking the initiative to relieve suffering.