Redesign Your Lifestyle with New Habits to Start in the New Year
Instead of setting New Year’s Resolutions, I like to set habit goals. A habit goal is a regular tendency or practice.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting S.J. Scott who wrote the books Habit Stacking and Bad Habits no more. One of the things that S.J. said that I thought was pretty brilliant was “Sometimes it’s the smallest of actions that can make the biggest difference in someone’s life.” We were discussing how the simple act of sending a loving text message to his wife everyday was so important to her.
“Sometimes it’s the smallest of actions that can make the biggest difference in someone’s life.” S.J. Scott
What habits can you create in your life to be the kind of person you want to be? It may be just a quick and easy habit like S.J. shared.
You likely have many habits that you are regularly practicing. Many of these habits you perform on a daily basis, maybe unconsciously and a part of your regular routine. Unfortunately, some of these types of unconscious habits that you have built up over time are typically not the best types of habits.
Good habits, in particular, need to be developed and developed intentionally. Developing good habit goals can create a new, fresh, and better you. Here is why you should reinvent yourself by starting good habits today.
The Benefits Of A Good Habit Goals
Habits are small activities that define or create who you are over time. The benefit of developing good habits is that it creates and define good attributes in you over an extended period of time. A good habit is like interest building in a bank. Over time, the interest continues to grow without much effort on your part. Likewise, a good habit continues to develop character and attributes in you, without much concentrated effort.
Developing good habits also takes the “work” out of doing the things that you want to do. When something becomes routine or automatic, it no longer becomes work. It is just something you do. Being able to routinely perform activity or tasks without much effort allows you to put your energy and focus into other areas of life. Developing good habits gives you the benefit for accomplishing more with less effort.
And Time Is The Key To Good Habit Forming
Developing a good habit may take longer than you think. When developing a new habit, the general rule of thumb has been about 21 days. This time frame was developed from Dr. Maxwell Maltz work in the 1960’s with amputees adjusting to the loss of a limb.
However, a more recent study from Lally et al, entitled How are habits formed: Modeling habit formation in the real world, indicates that it takes an
average of 66 days for an activity to become “automatic”. The study also indicated that missing a day did not lead to negative effects to developing your habit, but that the more repetitions earlier in your development produced larger effects.
Developing good habits is both a marathon and a sprint. Start your habit forming strong with consistent repetitions in those first few weeks. Then turn your eyes to the horizon and settle in for the time that it will take to develop your habit.
New Habits to Start in the New Year
There are lots of good habits that you should develop for yourself. Here are few that you should consider:
Instead of setting a goal of losing weight try setting a habit goal exercising 30 minutes a day. This is the obvious good habit that you should be developing. The American Heart Association states that you can significantly improve your cardiovascular health with just 30 min of exercises a day. Even if this 30 min is broken into 10 min periods. Developing a habit of a daily walk can significantly impact your health and mindset.
This habit is not flashy, or exciting, or particularly fun. But it’s absolutely necessary. Start small and save a specific amount each week. Then build to a particular amount each month or a certain percentage each year. Building this habit can have lasting rewards for years to come.
Reading More Books
Developing the habit of reading 15 min each day can lead to all kinds of benefits for you. Daily reading can increase memory and vocabulary or decrease stress and anxiety. With only 15 min of reading a day, you can easily read 1-2 books a month or 12-24 books a year. Imagine the benefit of learning new skills for recreations and work, or understanding a new topic, or developing a better imagination, all from 15 min a day.
Waking Up Early
This is a difficult habit for me. I am a night owl by nature but creating a morning routine has helped me get mornings off to a better start. Getting up early in the morning is not natural for everyone, but is a habit that can be developed. Start by setting your alarm 15 min earlier than usual. Every 1-2 weeks move your alarm back another 15 min until you reach your desired wake up time. Waking up early can benefit your health, energy, productivity and motivation.
Pay Attention To Your
New Habits to Start in the New Year
Whatever good habits you decide to develop will be worth the invested time. The important thing is to pay attention to the habits that you are developing.
Start today, and make a note of all the habits that you find yourself routinely doing throughout the day. Is this habit something you want to keep? If not, start a better habit and begin the process of redesigning your life.