Unless we know the secret to keeping our resolutions and turning them into a love story. Those beautiful, passionate wishes and dreams we have for 2020 will be gone in 18 days.
Once our brain decides our consistent actions are a habit- it will hold on for dear life. Did you know most of our deep rooted habits are formed before we are 9 years old? We learn by mirroring our family and those closest to us. This is one of the main reasons family habits get passed from generation to generation. We are wired to repeat. That's the good new and bad new. Great if you have beautiful healthy habits. Bad news if your habits are less than awesome.
So what does this have to do with New Year's resolutions and the 18 day average? Everything!!! When we make a new years resolution we need to change habits. Before we can add on a new habit we need to at least identify what habit we want to reduce or illuminate. Real change is habit changing. Or substituting one action for another.
Resolutions give us vision...but it's the daily actions that gives us results.
Habits require: Consistency, Persistency and Tender Loving Care
Research says the average habit takes 66 days to become a habit. A more complicated habit can take up to 254 days... and that is if the new habit is practiced with daily frequency and diligence. If we don't take consistent care, in about 18 days our existing habits will rise up and take their rightful space in our brains again. This overrides our beautiful New Year's Resolutions and leaves them to wilt.
Think of Your new years habits as baby seeds. Seeds need time to sprout, to grow roots to make it past the dirt and into sunshine.
6 tips to turn resolutions into totally doable habits that grow deep roots!
1. Make you new goal a tiny daily action. Doable- everyday in any weather. I know want big changes... the best way to get there is through habits. Start with a habit that is so simple and small An action you can do everyday not matter what...even on those days when you run out of time, have company show up, it's raining, you have a cold...life happens. On the great days, you can do more but the key to a habit is persistence, frequency and consistency. Doing a little bit every day. 1 mile or 15 minutes of walking, Unplugging from social media at 9pm...
2. Tag it with an existing habit. What do you already do everyday? Add your habit to that habit. Your brain wont complain. It's like adding a chicken to the hen house at night. You already have the space and time...Your brain likes that.
3. Use time habits. Time is consistent. We are habitual about what we do at certain times of the day. Add your new habit to your morning, when you get home from work, before you settle in and watch TV, turn on the computer each night, before bed...add in your new healthy habit.
4. Give it an ending date. Instead of telling your brain. "You have to do this the rest of your life..." Say "I'm going to try this for 66 days and then see how we are doing." At the end of 66 days you can make a intentional decision to adjust your habit, stop it or continue... Giving yourself an out, reduces stress. Staying with your new habit past 66 days gives you time to nourish a habit and see how it is impacting your life... (1000 days of continual action moves you to becoming a master...)
5. Give it a home. By having a consisting time of day or a place in your schedule, you give your new habit a home. We need to create space for what is truly important. Everything and everyone feels better when there is a nourishing home to go to. Habits are the same way. Create a cozy home for your friend.
6 Build one habit at a time. Habits need care and focus. It's better to fully develop one true habit than watch a huge dream wash away again this year. Instead of one big new years resolution, change a habit a month, or 6 this year or one per season. In a month or two you can start up a another new habit... It's better to slowly create sustainable life changing habits over an entire year- than have one big dream loose footing in 18 days.
One little change can start a domino effect of many changes. By cultivating habits we use our brains to help us create change. If you want to learn more... one of my favorite resources and inspirations for this blog was Tom Corely's book: Change your habits, Change your life. It's an easy read that packs a big punch...kind of like habits.
Start here: Look at your wishes, dreams, new year's resolutions or even the word or intention of the year. Look at a habit you might want to reduce.... or a habit you can add. (habit- daily persistent action) Apply your resolution habit... to the one or more of the 6 tips and turn your wishes into habits.
Let me know what and how your are doing! Having support is good for habits and goals... we are over 65% more likely to achieve our goals with support. I love being a coach!!
Happy New Year and New Decade!!
Denise- home and life coach
FYI: If you click here to buy Tom's book. I got set up as an affiliate of Amazon this year so I can add income to support this blog. If you want to support me, please by the book through the link, hire me to speak at your events or as your own personal coach. Thank you and happy habit creating...