I have always made new year’s resolutions. I have accomplished some big changes in my life because of them, but if I’m honest, I have left most of them unfulfilled.
I would start strong, full of motivation and determination, but eventually, I would lose steam and revert to my old habits.
Does that resonate with you?
It wasn’t until I read Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, I tried using the power of small, incremental changes. The book teaches that by making small, manageable changes, it is easier to form new habits and ultimately achieve our goals.
It makes total sense, right? But it has taken me a long time to figure this one out.
One of the key principles of Tiny Habits is that habits should be easy to do.
This makes sense when you think about it - the easier a habit is to do, the more likely it will be repeated. For example, suppose my goal is to exercise more (which is a never-ending goal). In that case, it is much more manageable to commit to doing five push-ups every day than trying to exercise for an hour every day.
Another important aspect of Tiny Habits is that resolutions or habits should be linked to an existing behavior.
By linking a new habit to something we already do every day, it becomes a natural part of our routine and is easier to remember to do. For example, if I want to drink more water, I might commit to drinking one glass of water before my first coffee of the day.
After a few months of drinking water before coffee, I decided to buy a small refrigerator and put it in my closet, next to my bathroom. Now I drink 16 ounces of water before I leave the bedroom. I don’t even think about it anymore.
Or if you want to start a prayer/meditation routine. Why not combine it with brushing your teeth? Spend the minutes you are brushing your teeth praying, and go from there. Some might say that that’s cheating, but I say that’s an easy beginning that can grow beyond the two or so minutes during a morning routine.
I have found that by using these micro changes, I have been much more successful in sticking to my resolutions. I no longer feel overwhelmed by trying to make too many changes at once, and I can see small victories and progress toward my goals.
This consistency has helped me to build momentum. It has made it easier to maintain my habits over the long term.
Give yourself a chance to make your resolutions stick this year. Focusing on small, manageable changes linked to existing behaviors makes it easier to form new habits and achieve our goals. This can help to increase confidence and motivation and create a virtuous cycle of success.
Become a better you in 2023!