Forming New Habits for the New Year

Yoga on cliffside

Alright everyone, how are you doing so far on those New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m actually still going strong on most of mine.  I’ve been working out regularly, writing in my journal, and eating pretty healthy meals. However, a lot of advice I’ve heard from others and read online goes contrary to my own experience.

For one thing, most people will recommend that you form habits slowly and only focus on one thing at a time. I’m not saying that this doesn’t work, but I don’t think it’s the only way to form a habit.

What I’ve found really helpful is to focus on how each of your habits supports your other habits and goals. When approaching my goal of losing weight and getting healthy, I recognized that I could reach that goal by forming habits of regular exercise, healthy eating, and stress management. I’m working on these habits by using ClassPass, doing WeightWatchers, and writing daily in my journal.

By working on any one of these habits, I’m able to motivate myself to work hard on the others. For example, completing a fitness class makes me feel really good about myself. When I’m feeling good about myself, it makes it easier for me to choose healthy foods like fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. In turn, the exercise and healthy diet help me to manage my stress.

These three habits combined are allowing me to start to see results, which, in turn, helps motivate me to continue working hard at my new habits. As you can see, good habits beget more good habits. So in my opinion, why limit yourself to focusing on only one small thing at a time?

Admittedly, this strategy doesn’t work for everyone. But, if you’ve tried changing one small habit at a time and are starting to feel unmotivated, I think that grouping several good habits together can give you the boost you need.

I think that this strategy works well for people who tend to think in all or nothing terms and struggle with moderation. I actually find it harder to have a small piece of chocolate than to just avoid chocolate entirely. Also, if I aim to work out every day, I work out much more often than if I tell myself I’m only going to work out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for example.

So tell me, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? And what is your style of creating and sticking to good habits?

Let me know in the comments!