A Better Way to Resolve

It’s time for anew year, and time for a new decade!  At least things are less exciting than when we changed over from 1999 to 2000 and people were worried that motherboards all over the world were going to burst into flame!

Along with watching the ball drop and singing Auld Lang Syne, a popular New Years’ tradition is to make a resolution to be a better person.  This tradition, along with the propensity to fall off the resolution wagon a few months later, has been going on since 1671!  Check out the full article on that tidbit HERE.

There is also a multitude of articles you can read on how to make resolutions that stick or a list of the top 10 resolutions you should be making.  Just as popular is the many articles on why you shouldn’t set new years resolutions.  My take on the matter is somewhere in the middle.  I think the idea of taking stock of where you are and setting a vision on where you would like to be is a great idea.  Too often, we get stuck in our comfortable habits, and while we know it isn’t the best thing or the healthiest for us, it can be easier to just go along as we are and keep wishing for things to be better.  The significance of a new year can be the bump we need to get out of those ruts and start making meaningful changes in our lives.

That’s the key, though, meaningful changes.  Just wanting to lose weight, have more money, be more grateful, start exercising, get a new job, or stop smoking isn’t enough.  Unfortunately, we are creatures of habits and changing those habits whether good or bad is difficult.  There is even science to back that up, check out the research from Duke University HERE.

However, there is some good news.  Those same researchers found out that we can use our psychology to create new habits.  While you have heard that you need to start with small changes instead of going cold turkey on sugar, carbs, or cigarettes, an even better way is to start even smaller and make micro changes in your life.  Even more then that, the best way to break a habit is to ignore that habit entirely and instead, create a new healthy pattern that will ultimately replace the harmful habit automatically.

So when you think about where you want to be in a month, or by summer, or by the end of the year, decide what habits you need to have to support you in achieving that vision.  Then see if you can break that down into even smaller changes that can become their own healthy habits.  For example, drink a glass of water each morning, add one serving of fruits to your lunch, put 1$ a day into a savings account, write down one person you are grateful for each evening, do 5 minutes of yoga in the morning, etc.

If this sounds like something you want to do, but you want some help getting started, or are looking for some accountability, I started using an amazing app that is based on the Duke research of habit changing.  You can check it out HERE.

Wishing all of you a very healthy and happy 2020!

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