I have always been the New Year’s resolution type. When I was much younger, my list of resolutions tended to be long and their focus tended to center around wanting to behave or act in a way that wasn’t really who I was. One year I distinctly remember making a resolution to be more “laid back” and “cool” – things that I have come to know are NOT who I am. Thankfully, I’ve grown a little wiser and now my resolutions are of a higher order and more aligned with who I am.
My track record for actually keeping my resolutions is a whole other ball of wax. Like a lot of people, this is where I typically fall short. I do well for the first month or so, but inevitably by March or April, all of the momentum of the New Year comes to a grinding halt.
This year, I’m trying something a little different and taking some cues from Gretchen Rubin and her latest book, Better Than Before (If you aren’t familiar with it, you can check out my book review here). Rubin’s approach of presenting different strategies that can be used to improve your chances of success are pretty profound – at least they really spoke to me. I almost want to use the phrase “life changing”, but they can only truly change my life if I actually act upon what I’ve learned.
My 2016 Resolutions
This year, I resolve to:
- Spend time daily in meditation and prayer
- Rise early, before the rest of the family
- Quit sugar (this is technically breaking a bad habit)
- Incorporate a daily yoga/stretching practice
- Consistently use my planner for daily/weekly task planning
- Plan meals and grocery shopping each week
- Take my vitamins daily
- Stick to my skin care regimen
- Write something everyday
- Show thoughtfulness – write thank you notes, check in with friends etc.
Tools for Success
So what is going to make this year different from past years? How will I stick to the plan?
One thing is for sure – I will not be trying to tackle this entire list of habits at one time! Just looking at that list gives me a fair amount of anxiety. Instead, I will focus on just a handful each month and track them on a daily and weekly basis. As I get a handle on one, I will replace it with another one to focus on.
I will also be using several habit-forming strategies – the most important of which is Know Thyself. Of the four tendencies Rubin describes in her book (Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, Rebel – see definitions here), I have determined that I am 100% an Obliger – I find it easy to meet other people’s expectations but struggle to meet expectations that I set for myself. This is why I have no problem getting up before the sun comes out to meet my running partner for a run, but will STRUGGLE to get out of the bed if I am going on an early run by myself. This is also why it helps for me to tell others about goals I’ve set for myself (so writing about my journey in developing good habits this year is all a part of my master plan – I’m counting on you to help keep me honest! :-)).
Bookmark this page if you want to stay up to date on my good habit development efforts. Expect bi-weekly (or there about) updates on which habits I’m focusing on, strategies that I am incorporating, what is working and what isn’t.
What are you working on this year?