Think back to the last time you set New Year resolutions. How did it go?
So many times I’ve written out elaborate goals of what I wanted to achieve. But it usually meant I had to basically change who I was for that to happen. And the outcome was most likely what you expected. I failed.
But I recently established a habit of which I’m very proud. I decided I needed to drink only water – no Pepsi, Coke, or the Southern lifeblood of choice – sweet tea. I used a simple habit tracker to keep up with my progress.
Each day that I drank only water, I colored in the box for that day. And guess what! I have not had a Pepsi, Coke or sweet tea for over 2 months!! After a while, I didn’t want to break the streak of coloring in the day’s box on my habit tracker. Now I don’t even think about drinking anything other than water. I never would have believed I could do that! But I did.
“Our brain circuitry is actually wired to adapt to incremental changes and repetition. If you start taking small steps toward a bigger goal, your brain will begin to develop new neural pathways that make achieving that goal easier. As these pathways are created, you’ll notice that what once seemed difficult becomes more routine.” Small Habits Lead to Big Changes by Connie Ragen Green.
And that is exactly what happened to me. As you start to establish a habit, it becomes easier and easier to do until you don’t even have to think about it anymore. Just being aware of this process helps us stick it out.
While we’re in that transition period of establishing a habit, we can use tools to make it easier. Use a to-do list or set a reminder to help stay on track. Find an accountability partner so the two of you can motivate each other and help bolster that willpower when it starts to fade after the first enthusiasm wears off. Even something as simple as laying out your running clothes the night before and keeping your sneakers by the door will make it a little easier to go out for that run.
And that’s the simple version of creating a new lifelong habit. There is much more to creating new habits that stick. Interested in more? Then check out Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by B.J. Fogg. Over 77% of over 5000 readers rated this book with 5 stars on Amazon. If you’re serious about developing better habits, this book needs to be your guide.
And to track your progress, pick up my free “My One Thing Habit Tracker”. It is what I used to develop my habit of drinking only water daily. You can get it HERE!
What habit or habits do you want to develop? Just a tiny step with one habit can change your life!
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I’m Vicki Peel, former home economics teacher and educational administrator. If you are not receiving my emails, coupons, and freebies, look for the Subscribe block (below right) and submit your contact information. I will not share your information with anyone, and all the content you will receive as part of our community is free. I may occasionally promote someone else’s paid content, offer a product for your consideration or share an item that I think might be of use to you. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything – ever. So, sign up now so you won’t miss anything during our July through September focus on LIFESTYLE!