How to Create Lifetime Habits Out of Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are great motivators. They’re not habits that stick in most cases, though. After a few weeks of feeling inspired, many people fall off the bandwagon because they cannot maintain their momentum.

If you’re the type of person with more resolutions than you have time, you’re not alone. It’s time to take a different approach to meet your goals and making your dreams a reality.


From Resolving to Evolving

Consider this your guide to being a better, healthier version of you. It helps you get past the frustration barrier that exists by trying something new. Once you’ve come up with a plan that you’re willing to stick to, making it a daily practice is imperative. It becomes something you do naturally, without thought, like brushing your teeth or putting your shoes on.

Here are some ways to ensure that your new habits stick:


Name Your WHY

It’s easy to get caught up in all the things you think you should do without knowing why you should do them. Instead of focusing on what you think others will approve of, start considering what you value and why it’s important to you. People go their entire lifetimes without achieving the things they want to do.

Rather than let your dreams die with you, find your why and make it a big part of your life. You’ll have fewer regrets that way. Naming your why gives your goal a purpose. It helps you remember what makes it essential to you.


Set SMART Goals for Yourself

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. This type of goal-setting requires you to name what you’re trying to achieve, develop a system that measures your progress, remain a part of your long-term goals, and have a firm date of achieving whatever it is you’re setting out to do.

It’s the who, what, why, when, and how of setting goals and the first step in achieving your dreams. You can apply SMART goal-setting to personal and professional settings. The formula is one you can repeat with every goal that you set for yourself.

Write a to-do list specifically for your goals.


Break Large Goals Into Smaller, Actionable Tasks

Once you’ve decided what you want to focus your time and energy on presently, it’s time to spring into action. Your goals need to be broken down into smaller tasks so that you’ll continue to work on them each day.

For every goal you have, list 10-20 things you can do to make it happen. It helps to write your ideas out to know exactly what you need to do to progress forward. You’ll build momentum with every to-do that you check off your list.


Write Out Your Tasks on Your Calendar So You Can Check Them Off as You Complete Them

Making time for your goals can be challenging. That’s where your calendar comes in handy. Writing out the different tasks you need to complete and scheduling them into your agenda is something we highly recommend. It ensures that you’ll take the task seriously.

Regularly reviewing your to-dos makes it possible for you to see what you can get done in the time that you have available. You can block-out time on your calendar specifically for getting your goals done. It’s incredible what you’re able to achieve when you put your mind to doing it.


Crowd Out Your Obstacles by Replacing Them With Goal-Getting Behaviours

It’s easy to say that you don’t have the time to do what you need to do. The truth is that most people spend their idle time without having a real purpose for it. Instead of scrolling social media or binge-watching TV shows, use your time wisely. Start doing more of the things that get you closer to achieving your goal.

For example, if you want to eat healthier foods, meal prepping at the start of each week provides you with an excellent start to your goal. You’re able to plan out the meals you eat and control the number of calories, fat, sugar, and sodium you consume. Crowding out negative behaviours by replacing them with positive, healthier behaviours is best.

It doesn’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of certain things because you’re able to make changes gradually, not rapidly.

Remove negative behaviours by replacing them with positive and healthy behaviours.


Do Any Task That Takes Five Minutes or Less First

Among the easiest ways of getting through a long to-do list is determining which tasks can be done in five minutes or less and address them right away. It’s one way to send your brain a powerful message.

You can get things done when you put your mind to it. That means less stress and far more productivity for you. Put a star by any task you know you can get done right away. Then set a timer for 30 minutes to an hour and see how much you can accomplish in a short block of time.


Recruit an Accountability Buddy to Check in With Regularly

It helps to have someone you trust that you can speak to about your goals and progress. Finding a person that is willing to serve as an accountability buddy for you is highly advantageous. They are just as committed as you are to helping you reach your goals. Your success is their success, too.

You can check in with them and know that they’re rooting you on every step of the way. It feels good to have someone in your corner rallying for you. You can also support a family member or friends’ needs when trying to achieve goals. You can return the favour by making yourself available to help others make their dreams a reality.


Reward Yourself for Hitting Different Milestones

It’s perfectly ok to indulge some when you reach different goals. Incentives are powerful motivators. As long as they aren’t food-related while you’re dieting or money-related when you’re trying to save, there is no harm in giving yourself gifts throughout the goal-setting process.

They don’t even need to cost you anything financially for them to be beneficial. A reward can be as simple as an afternoon off to read a favourite book or magazine or a spa day at home.

Rewarding yourself when you hit your goal doesn't have to be expensive.


Try Not to ‘Break the Chain’

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld came up with a way to motivate himself. It involved seeing how many days in a row on the calendar he could cross off before ‘breaking the chain.’ It feels excellent to see your progress laid out linearly.

How many days, weeks, months, and years can you plug away at your goals before you ‘break the chain’? It’s a challenge that inspires and motivates you. There’s nothing that you need to buy, either, outside of a standard yearly calendar and a black marker.


Visualize Yourself Achieving Your Goal

Acting as if you’ve already achieved the goal you set out to conquer is a great way to motivate yourself. It helps you step into the role you want to play before losing weight or getting a promotion. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Dress the part,” it’s the same type of logic.

You behave the way you would if you were living the life of your dreams today, not tomorrow. It’s a trick of the mind that can be very effective. Once you step into the role of the life you dream for yourself by acting the part, you’ll find it harder to discern role-playing from reality.


Create a Vision Board That Reminds You of What You’re Trying to Achieve

A beneficial visualization exercise is the vision board. It helps you see yourself and the goals that you have in a visible location. Creating vision boards throughout the year is a process that helps your dreams become reality for you. You’re able to see them described in photos and words. You can look at your vision board for inspiration whenever you need a pick-me-up. It’s like having an accountability buddy in paper form.

Creating a vision board helps keep you motivated.

The biggest roadblock you’ll encounter along the way is your inability to commit. If you can get past that hurdle, you’ll find goal setting far easier to do long-term. Making your dreams part of your daily reality helps you remember why they’re important to you in the first place. You find time in your busy schedule for many other to-dos.

Why not put your needs first for once? You don’t need to wait until New Year’s Day to make it happen, either! You can start right now, wherever you are at in your life. You can achieve anything you set your mind to doing if you continue to prioritize your goals.


Make This 2021 a Year to Remember for All the Right Reasons

Turn your New Year’s resolutions into lifelong habits that benefit you physically, emotionally, socially, financially, spiritually, professionally, and creatively. You’ve got options that are beneficial in every way. Start building steps toward your goals into your daily schedule. Doing so helps you stay on track by providing you with solutions to break down into smaller steps and work on often.

You’ve got many suggestions to choose from that help you build a better lifestyle one step at a time. Take what applies to your life and see how beneficial it is to have many options to choose from today. Your health and well-being are in your hands. All you have to do is take a different approach than you did in the past to go after your goals.

About Sara Hodgson

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