It seems that the New Year is a great time to start something good, give up bad habits and do something useful. But every year repeats the same thing: we promise ourselves to be better, to learn, to grow, to bed before midnight, but the next week the promises get forgotten. Why is this happening and how to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions, see in this article.
Most often our promises for the coming year relate to habits changing. For playing sports twice a week, as you solemnly promised yourself, planning the next year your short-term motivation is not enough. You will need strength, forcing you to do it, not a simple willpower, but the habit strength.
For you to make a habit and even to abandon the existing bad habits a little willpower and short-term motivation is not enough. You need certain situations, favorable factors of the external environment and the right inner spirit.
Well, are you ready to fulfill all that you promised yourself this year?
Here are six tips to fulfill promises and achieve your goals.
- DISARM YOUR IMPULSES
We all have impulses that make some behaviors feel pleasurable while others feel downright miserable. Case in point: Last spring, I registered for a charity bike ride—cycling 200km over two days. The ride was in June, meaning I had to get outdoors and start training in March—not a very warm time of the year in Toronto. Some mornings, I awoke to find frost on the windows. Waking up early on a freezing Sunday morning to ride my bike went against all of my impulses, which were telling me to pull the covers over my head and stay in my warm bed.
If I’d followed my impulses, I would never achieve my goal of cycling 200km. So, I invited a group of friends. Meeting with my peers on an early Sunday morning became the most pleasurable part of my day and what I looked forward to most on the weekend. Changing my habit of sleeping in on Sunday morning started with disarming my impulse to hide under the covers; making the brisk morning bike ride feel more pleasurable than staying in bed.
- ACQUIRE THE NECESSARY SKILLS
Does your new behavior require the acquisition of a new skill set? If your resolution is to lose weight, perhaps you need to hire a personal trainer to show you the exercises that can most effectively help you attain that goal. If your goal is to become a better leader, perhaps you need to take some leadership training courses, or buy a book to provide you with the knowledge and ability you require in order to succeed.
- CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY
The people you surround yourself with on a daily basis have a great deal of influence on your choices and can interfere with you achieving your goals. If your goal is to save money, but the people you hang out with talk about nothing other than the cool new tech items they recently purchased and the vacations they’re going on, those conversations are likely to normalize those spending and consumption habits and influence your financial choices, making it more difficult for you to stick with your savings goal. “We change our morals, actions, and behaviors because of the actions of those around us,” says Grenny. Get peer pressure to work for you, rather than against you, by surrounding yourself with individuals who are exhibiting the behaviors you want to implement in your life.
- FIND A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Oftentimes, achieving our goals requires external help, information, or resources. Surrounding yourself with individuals who have the knowledge or resources you require to attain your goals can place you on the path to success.
- REWARD YOURSELF FOR SMALL GOALS
Use rewards to manipulate yourself into keeping good habits. Only allowing yourself to have that delicious peanut butter smoothie you love after completing your workout, for example, is a great way to promote habit change. “Our brains are wired to react to those sorts of connections (working out = delicious smoothie) and if you intentionally create them by setting small goals and attaching a modest reward that’s consistent with your long-term objectives, you can change your level of motivation to keep your commitments,” says Grenny.
- GET CONTROL OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Our physical surroundings influence how we think, feel, and act. If you’re trying to avoid being distracted by email but you have your email alerts on all day long, your environment will be hindering your ability to meet your goal. “It’s like trying to keep a diet and exercise goal but you have a candy bowl sitting on your counter,” says Grenny. Survey your physical environment and ask what in your environment enables you and how you can change your environment to encourage the positive habit change you want to adopt.
These tips are generally enough to fulfill this year all your promises. Remember the main thing:
Never rely on willpower and motivation. Instead, do everything to make your become a new habit easy to make.
Have you already made a list of goals?