The final piece of the puzzle is habits. Building habits is the single most powerful process we can deploy for creating lasting success in our lives, and the reason most new years resolutions fail is that we don’t go about creating new habits.
Taking the one action that we chose in part 1 and the over-solution we defined in part 2 we now need to focus on building a new habit around them.
Step 3 – Form A New Habit
A habit is an action or series of actions that we perform subconsciously. Building habits can take time – a lot of time – but we’re going to focus specifically on the crucial first 30 days. Performing our chosen action and over-solution for 30 days will help us start to internalise our new behaviour. Ideally we will perform our new action every day, though some actions may occur less frequently, like going to the gym.
A great tip when building a new habit is to perform the habit at the same time of day. This increases the likelihood you’ll remember to do it, helping build momentum with your new routine.
One of the phenomenons we experience when building a new habit is ‘habit gravity’. This is time (usually about a week or 2 in) where our enthusiasm for our new action has worn off a little and we can feel our old habits pulling us back. This is perfectly natural, so watch out for it and use your will power to break through this invisible force-field.
This ‘habit gravity’ is exactly the reason we need to just focus on one action over the first 30 days. If we try to focus on more than one action, the combined habit gravity can be overwhelming leading us to stop everything!
With a well chosen action and over-solution in place we can start to build a new positive habit that will serve us for the rest of our life.
So there are the 3 steps you need to take to increase your chances of success with your new year’s resolutions:
- Choose one action that offers you the best chance of success with your goal
- Create an over-solution to prevent you falling back on your old habits
- Perform your new behaviour (ideally at the same time every day) for 30 days
After the first 30 days it’s important to keep up with your new behaviour and not slip back into your old habits. The good news is that at this point you should be starting to find your new behaviour much easier to perform. Keep going and don’t stop until it’s a habit – you’ll know when this has happened when you feel like you need to do it!
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