Turn Your Resolutions Into Habits

Turn Your Resolutions Into Habits

1024 576 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

Turn Your Resolutions Into Habits


At this time of year many of us have set New Year Resolutions – you want to lose weight, get fit, eat more healthily, earn more money, learn how to do x, y, z.  Sometime around the middle of February, if not sooner, most people will have given up their gym membership and fallen back into their old ways of working and living.
If you’ve managed to stick with your Resolutions so far, well done.  If not, don’t give up, it’s still only January. Get yourself back on track, re-commit to what is you want and keep going.
It takes between 20-30 days or repetitions to develop a new habit. Keep that in mind and don’t be too hard on yourself. Each successful day brings you one step closer to creating those new habits.
Create new habits
You’ve had a life-time of learned behaviours and developed habits to get you where you are today. Some of those habits are good, some not so good or don’t serve you so well.  You can’t expect to change engrained habits overnight.
Remember how long it took you to learn how to drive a car or ride a bicycle. It was hard work at first and took several attempts to get it right.  But you kept at it and now you don’t even think about what you’re doing.
That’s what happens with habits, they become second nature, you do them without thinking. They become automatic, ways of thinking, being and doing.
What would you like to think, be or do differently this year?
Create a routine
When you have a routine it makes it easier to develop and create a new habit.  Associate the new habit with an existing pattern of behaviour or something you enjoy doing.  By linking the two together it’s easier to remember the new habit.
Do your daily planning with your morning cup of coffee.
Exercise when you get up, before you have lunch or as soon as you get home.  Put out your exercise kit the night before. Plan time for it in your diary so there’s less excuse not to do it or for something else to creep in or work to take over.
Create a fun aspect around your new habit.  Listen to a favourite piece of music or a podcast while you work on a task.
Replace one activity (like watching TV or surfing the net) with reading, exercise or finding time for that hobby you ‘never have time’ for.
What new routine will you develop that will make it easier to create a new habit?
Put a structure in place to support you
If you’re going to achieve your goals through creating new habits, you need have a plan, routine and structure in place to help you.  What steps do you need to take to achieve your goals and objectives?
Even if it’s just a simple one-page plan or checklist – it gives you a structure to work with.
Checklists are great – I use them all the time and I’m achieving my new habits for 2016.
a) They act as a daily reminder
b) You tick them off as you go and get a sense of satisfaction as each day builds a new habit.
c) You see your progress and you’re more likely to keep going.
Create accountability
Share your habits and objectives with someone.
Team up with a friend, colleague, coach or mentor – they can help you stay focused and keep you motivated. If you have shared goals, you can support each other to keep going when you start to go off track.
If you keep them to yourself, it’s much easier to let yourself off the hook or make excuses. There’s no impact if you don’t achieve it, although you might feel you’ve let yourself down if you don’t and then you beat yourself up about it or label yourself as a ‘failure’.
When you tell someone else, you make a commitment, you’ll be much more motivated to stick with it. Share a similar goal with someone and you can motivate each other to keep going.
There are several apps available – where you can share your health and fitness goals, challenge your friends, get reminders and track your progress.
Create a financial reward or penalty for when you achieve your goal (depending on whether you respond better to the ‘carrot or stick’).
Sign up for a challenge – you’re far more likely to get fit if you know you’re running a 10k or raising money for charity and have something to aim for.
Take small steps
You’re more likely to succeed if you make small changes and take things slowly and gradually, rather than trying to change too much all at once.
Start with one small thing.  Once you’ve got into a routine with that you can add the next habit.
Start a healthier lifestyle by changing just one thing – stop eating biscuits, cut out/reduce sugar, chocolate, swap your morning latte for a black coffee or green tea. You don’t have to adjust your entire diet all in one go.
Start with 10-20 minutes of daily exercise, a brisk walk or jog around the block and build up from there. You don’t have to jump in to an hour in the gym.
Once you’ve made one or two adjustments and see the benefit, the more likely you are to want to do more.
Remember – there’s no quick fix – habits and new behaviours take time and effort.
If you’d like to make a significant change to your habits over the next month, get in touch and find out about the 31 Day Challenge or commit to the full 91 Day Challenge and see the difference taking daily action will make.


Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

Clare specialises in Time Management and Leadership Development applying both business and personal coaching techniques to support, challenge and motivate you to maximise your potential and use your strengths to help you achieve success in your business or career. Her clients include Executives, Business Directors, CEOs and Partners in the Legal and Financial professions.

All articles by: Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

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