Written by David Davenport – Contributing Author Healing Arts Institute
The start of a new year can be symbolic of starting a new and better life. We make promises to ourselves about how we intend to live healthier, be kinder, or become better parents.
Ask yourself this question. How many of my New Year’s resolutions did I maintain in 2020?
Our hearts may be in the right place, but our good intentions often fall to the wayside in favor of old comforting habits.
Well, not this year!
Forming a new habit is difficult. Sustaining it over the long haul can be incredibly challenging if you don’t know how to do it.
Fortunately, you are about to learn the simple secret to maintaining any new habit for long term success.
Just keep it to Yourself
When we announce our intentions, it is usually because we are seeking the approval and admiration of others who might be impressed with our ambition. We want our friends and family to be proud of us!
Social media exacerbates this by making it extremely easy to proclaim our intentions to a mass audience with minimal effort.
We are not seeking the goal to attain personal betterment, but rather to fill a sense of our own identity. Our actual goal is the approval of others, and all we need to do is proclaim that we’re going to do something amazing and receive praise.
Technically that’s it.
You’ve accomplished your TRUE goal and received 102 thumbs-ups.
Now you don’t actually have to go to the gym.
If you want to stick to your resolutions, DON’T TELL ANYONE. Hold your goals close to your heart and stun the world with your results.
Stop Trying to Move Massive Boulders
Making large-scale changes to your lifestyle at once is a surefire way to fail at your new resolutions. It is far better to do something a small amount each day over a long period than trying to do everything at once.
We can use the gym as an example. If you go to the gym three times a week for 30 minutes at a time, are you going to be able to look in the mirror after each session and notice results? No, you won’t.
It is only after consistent application and the passage of time that you notice large scale noticeable changes. After two months, for sure. After six months, whoa…
If you miss a day every now and again, no problem. You are not going to look any fatter on a day you take off from exercise. The idea is to maintain steady progress, not to attain perfection. Be consistent but allow yourself room to breathe, make mistakes, or just relax every now and again.
This mindset holds true for starting a business, finishing school, investing your money, or just about anything else you can think of
Pick ONE goal.
Take small steps every day toward realizing your accomplishment.
There is no Try
Once you have your goal in mind, start doing something, anything toward that goal. Think of the first thing you can practically do to accomplish ANY step and just do that thing.
Learn what you can along the way and allow yourself to make mistakes. It will never be perfect, so don’t keep pushing away your dreams until all the stars align in just the right way. It will never happen.
Just start doing the thing, whatever it is. Even if your first step is a deep breath and having belief in yourself.
You can do it.
Graybiel, Ann M., and Kyle S. Smith. “GOOD HABITS, BAD HABITS.” Scientific American, vol. 310, no. 6, 2014, pp. 38–43. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26039932.
Arlinghaus, Katherine R, and Craig A Johnston. “The Importance of Creating Habits and Routine.” American journal of lifestyle medicine vol. 13,2 142-144. 29 Dec. 2018.
Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C.H.M., Potts, H.W.W. and Wardle, J. (2010), How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 40: 998-1009.
Markman, Art. “If You Want to Succeed, Don’t Tell Anyone.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 28 May 2009, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ulterior-motives/200905/if-you-want-succeed-dont-tell-anyone.