New Year’s Resolutions that last are built on habits.
But what is a New Year’s Resolution? The Cambridge English Dictionary says it’s “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year”.
It’s a simple description but I am not sure I like the use of the word ‘bad’, let’s make it more positive and focus on the ‘good’!
To keep your ‘promise’ and create lasting resolutions I believe it’s best to introduce habits that help you to stay well, feel good and be more in tune with yourself. They will last longer if you introduce them one at a time and also make sure to establish one new habit before you move on to the next. One step at a time!
Have you ever thought – Why don’t I do what I say I’m going to do? Why do I say something is important to me and never seem to make time for it?
The answer is in the systems you have in place. Create the systems and the habits will follow.
When I work with people we take it slowly and focus on the most important thing for them at the time whether that be the way they feel about themselves or drinking enough water, it may even be movement or eating fewer carbohydrates, whatever it is we only focus on one or 2 things.
Why? Because if we try to take on too much we tend to fail, and when we fail we usually give up, and that’s what tends to happen with New Year Resolutions, we set the bar too high.
So what I’m saying is, set yourself up for success by making your goals achievable.
Choose a new habit from one of these basics:
- Find out how much water you need and make sure you drink that much every day
- Always eat protein with every meal
- Do some kind of movement every day
- Introduce some quiet time each day – read a book, write a journal, listen to music, take a bath.
According to James Clear, the writer of Atomic Habits creating a new habit comes down to 4 important rules
- Make it obvious
- Make it attractive
- Make it easy
- Make it satisfying
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
So rather than talking about theory let’s think about the actual day-to-day practice using these rules.
Creating an exercise habit
- Make it obvious – leave your exercise clothes ready to wear when you go to bed at night so they are the first thing you see in the morning.
- Make it attractive – go for a walk with a friend, swim somewhere nice, or meet a buddy at the gym.
- Make it easy – always exercise at the same time every day, usually, first thing in the morning is best.
- Make it satisfying – If you exercise in the morning not only is it then done so you don’t have to think about it, but it also sets you up for the day. Your focus and concentration will be better and your day becomes easier and more satisfying.
- On the other hand, if we are trying to put a positive spin on clearing a habit that down’t serve us, let’s take sugar!
Reducing sugar intake
- Make it obvious – leave out the healthier snacks and get rid of the less healthy ones.
- Make it attractive – be sure to make it something that you like, for instance – change a chocolate bar or sweets for a nut bar or a piece of dark chocolate and a Brazil nut. No, not perfect but at least there is some protein to slow down the release of sugar.
- Make it easy – decide before you buy or before you leave your desk what you are going to do, or better still decide that morning what your snacks are going to be and prepare them.
- Make it satisfying – swap white potato for sweet potato or squash, and ask for an extra portion of vegetables instead of having chips.
So why not just take one habit that you want to achieve and apply these rules?
Get out a notebook and write it down, that way it sticks in your brain, if you just think it then the thoughts will be gone in no time!
If you’d like some more ideas on how to achieve your goals especially if you need to get your blood sugar down then why not join me for my Masterclass – Your Diabetes Journey, One Step At A Time on 7th February at 12pm? or find out more about my Healthy Habits Club.