How to turn resolutions into habits
January is officially over and so is the time of shiny bold resolutions. Because let's face it, after the excitement of starting afresh, and maybe managing to successfully give up booze or meat for a whole (hard) month, it’s easy to see our motivation fading and give up on our best intentions.
So how can we make sure our resolution can turn into a proper habit? Here are 5 simple steps!
1. Start small
Set a feasible goal for yourself, one you know you will be able to commit to without too much effort. Maybe you did make it to the gym 6 times a week throughout January, but then perhaps started feeling demotivated when you skipped one or two sessions, to the point where you gave up completely? To avoid this slippery slope, start going to the gym once a week, or maybe simply decide to always take the stairs instead of the escalator when using the tube.
Keep this small routine for a while, until it fits perfectly into your life and schedule; until you are able to do it without thinking too much about it. If you want to give up sugars and have started small by taking your coffee black, the day when you’ll automatically walk past the sugar station in the coffee shop, you’ll know it’s the day when a new habit is born.
3. Reward yourself
Congrats on making it this far! Time to pat yourself on the back, and what’s more motivational than giving yourself a little reward for your efforts? Celebrating your achievement is really important to inspire you to keep going, so plan something that makes you happy or give yourself a treat.
4. Step up your game
As you now feel confident in following your new habit, you can try and take a little step further: add another weekly gym session, avoid sweets entirely after dinner, etc. It can still be another small step towards your end goal (hit the gym 3 times a week or giving up sugar entirely), you simply have to follow points 1-3 again, and in time you’ ll get there.
5. Forgive yourself
This is a key part of the whole process of turning your resolution into a solid habit. We are only human! So if and when you skip your gym day or have an unexpected sweet treat, don’t panic! It’s absolutely OK to do so. The important thing is that you don’t take it as a major defeat nullifying all your efforts, or as an excuse to give up your habit entirely, but simply as a small step back. So just keep going as you were doing before!
Let me know how you are getting on!