New Habits for the New Year
Too many times we think in terms of having to break bad habits.
This year, instead of focusing on the negative things about yourself that you’d like to change, why not focus on the positive instead? Picking out a few new good habits that you’d like to develop can be a positive way to start the new year.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
If you try to do too much at one time, you won’t have as good a chance for success. It’s often said that it takes approximately 21 days to incorporate a new habit into one’s lifestyle, so that it feels natural and normal. A good way to capitalize on this timeframe is to pick a new good habit every month of the year to concentrate on. With only one new good habit to focus your efforts on, you’ll be able to add this new habit to your lifestyle and get completely used to it, before concentrating on the next new habit. Imagine how good it will feel at the end of the year to know that you’ve got twelve new good habits in your daily life.
How to Choose Good Habits
Choosing your twelve good habits is a personal decision. While some people prefer to select all twelve at the beginning of the year, for others, selecting one habit each month as the year progresses is the best approach. In order to choose your good habits, take some time to think about your priorities in life. Many people find that keeping an ongoing list of habits they’d like to work on, jotting them down whenever one comes to mind, is the best way of getting a list of good habit candidates to choose from. Once you have a list of ideas from which to work, simply pick the one that seems most important to you. You might also want to start with one or two of the easier ones first, just to get the ball rolling in a positive direction.
Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure
It’s also important to keep your good habits doable, and not bog yourself down in too many activities that go along with your new habit. For example, if your new habit is to go through all the incoming mail every day instead of letting it pile up, start the new year fresh by going through the mail every day, without adding the chore of going through old stacks of junk mail as a criteria for success. Too many times we set ourselves up for failure by judging the success of our new habits based on our ability to quickly make up for the years of not having the good habit.
Celebrate Your Success
As each new month of the year approaches, you should celebrate the success you’ve had with developing your new habit. Do something nice for yourself or your family to celebrate. For example, if you’ve been successful going through the daily mail without letting piles stack up, treat yourself to a magazine subscription that you would enjoy. Or, if you developed the habit of performing nightly clean up tasks with your children, celebrate by buying a new game that the entire family can enjoy playing together.