Everyone’s heard the saying, “It takes 21 days to break a habit.” But, how many days does it take to create a habit? Creating better habits in the new year is an excellent resolution. Good habits can improve your personal development, mental health, physical health, productivity, and professional success. However, it’s important to approach it with a realistic and sustainable mindset. Creating new habits can be just as difficult as breaking bad habits. Here are five easy ways to create better habits in the new year!
It’s important to create clear and measurable goals. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve will give you a sense of direction and motivation. Break down larger goals into smaller, more achievable milestones. For example, if you want to get into running, maybe try to run a mile a few times a week in January, then in February move on to two miles, in March go to three miles, and so on. Purchasing a journal to keep track of your goals and progress is a great way to stay on track! There are also apps available such as Strides, Todoist, MyFitnessPal, and more.
Making small changes in your daily routine is much more sustainable than trying to make drastic changes overnight. As we mentioned earlier, let’s say your goal is to start running. If you’re not a seasoned runner, your goal shouldn’t be to run a marathon by the end of January. Break your goal up into smaller, more realistic increments. This also gives you something to work at throughout the whole year. Find an app that works for you to help break up your goal weekly or monthly.
Surround yourself with the right people
Sharing your goals with a friend, family member, or co-worker can allow them to provide support and even hold you accountable. You’re much more likely to explore that new hiking trail or try a new exercise class in your area if you have a friend by your side. Joining a group or community with similar goals, such as a running club or gym, can help you form these connections and build a support system. Consider joining Facebook groups where you can discuss your progress with others on the same journey as you.
Practicing consistency is crucial to creating better habits. Being consistent helps your body develop and recognize a routine. Try creating reminders or setting alarms to help you remember to engage in your new habit each day. It may be a smart idea to purchase a planner or calendar to write down what you need to accomplish each day, week, or month.
Rewarding yourself when you achieve a goal is an excellent way to reinforce positive behavior, helping to create those better habits. Creating a rewards system that is tailored to your personality and your goals is important for remaining on track. Try to have your rewards align with the nature of your goals. For example, if your goal is fitness-related, your reward could be a new workout outfit, a fitness tracker, a new water bottle, or just anything fitness-related that you’ve had your eye on. You could even plan a dinner with your friends or family at your favorite restaurant to celebrate everything you’ve accomplished!
Remember, creating better habits is a gradual process, and success won’t be achieved overnight. The beauty of a New Year’s resolution is that you have the whole year to complete it. So, start small in January, stay consistent, and by December, you’ll have a whole new set of habits!