SETTING NEW YEAR HABITS INSTEAD OF RESOLUTIONS.
Setting habits and building positive routines is something I'm really interested in this year, particularly as a way to find a more realistic and practical solution towards achieving a goal. New year's resolutions are easy to give up - we fall at a hurdle a few miles along, we get discouraged by our progress and give up, or we just run out of steam.
But if we can get a well chosen and positive new habit to stick? We have every chance of hitting our goals because we've provided the perfect environment for them to flourish.
Why might habits work better than resolutions?
Habits provide a sense of steady, daily progress. By setting something small and routine-focused, you're consciously moving yourself into a lifestyle that can support you in achieving your dreams. Because a habit is usually something simple with regular repetition, you can make steps towards your overall goal in a much more manageable, attainable way.
They can also be a much kinder way to work towards a goal that might otherwise seem utterly overwhelming. Take the pressure off by focusing on a 50 percent success rate for a new habit. For example, if you'd like to make daily meditation part of your routine, consider that meditating four out of seven days in a week is a fantastic and successful start to that habit.
Choosing to focus on habits rather than resolutions places a much higher emphasis on enjoying the process. By making it all about achieving those little, daily successes, the importance of the goal suddenly shifts into simply enjoying the journey it takes to get there. Life still has to happen while you're busy making your dreams come true, and a more habit-based planning method can help with staying present and mindful. This way, if at the end of the year you find your dreams and goals have shifted (as they often do), you've still made a year more full of calm/creativity/fresh air.
Three habits to try for reaching a creativity-based goal.
- Reading. This is one of my most important habits. I tend to be an inconsistent reader in that I'll either not read anything for up to a month, or all I'm doing is devouring books as quickly as I can. Generally I read fiction before bed to feed my insatiable appetite for stories, but my new to 2019 habit is a ten minute non-fiction read every morning. I'm hoping to broaden my self-development practise and introduce new ideas and ways of thinking to my year. Consuming more of both fiction and non-fiction are excellent ways to improve your own writing, too.
- Fresh air. I am the least outdoorsy person ever and find it very easy it to spend days at a time not leaving the house at all, but in a bid to improve my afternoon focus, a brisk after lunch walk seems to be just the thing to blow away to cobwebs and prompt creative thinking.
- Journaling. Once you get past any initial resistance or self-consciousness, journaling is one the simplest, most effective habits to use with creative improvement in mind. It's brilliant for getting past mindset issues and navigating self-doubt and will also help with idea flow.
Are you making resolutions this year or setting new habits?
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