I saw more change and growth in myself in 2019 than probably most years of my life combined. There were highs and (very low) lows. There were major life decisions. More days spent apart from Matt than since we dated long distance.
Overall, I was ready to put 2019 behind us. But as I reflected on the year, I realized that I began 2019 with my usual enthusiasm and resolutions. Desperate for different results this year, I realized that resolutions are bogus.
Yes, you read that correctly. I think resolutions are bogus. Hear me out…
How many resolutions have you made that you have actually kept? Because I’m at zero and no longer counting.
Instead of starting 2020 out with my usual list of resolutions, I decided to put them aside and instead take my time thinking about what I want this year to look like. I have read several nonfiction books that have lit a fire in me. I’ve been so inspired to throw out my resolutions and instead cultivate habits this year. And guess what? I’m actually seeing results.
7 ways to create healthy habits
Check yourself. We set goals for things we want to accomplish, but what about the things we want to quit? Those are habits too. The habit of staying up too late can look like setting a bedtime for 10 pm, for instance. What do you need less of in your life this year? Make a list.
Be realistic. Healthy habits are realistic habits. They are attainable goals that you set for yourself.
Create a plan. You need to know why you are starting a new habit. Without a plan, you won’t have reason to keep working to create that habit. Create a plan that makes it very clear why you are doing what you’re doing.
Find an accountability partner. Reach out to someone in your life who also wants to change something in their life. Become accountability partners who can count on each other to check in at set times on how you are doing. My best friend, Megan, and I, have called each other our accountability partners for years. I feel like there’s nothing that we could tell each other, and that’s exactly the type of relationship you need in these situations.
Stop breaking promises. The first person I break a promise to is always myself. I never have a problem not showing up for my own self, but yet I’d never dream of doing that to someone else in my life. It has to stop. Isn’t it whacky that we value our own desires about a million times less than we value a commitment that we will make to a perfect stranger?
Make consequences. We are a whole lot less likely to do or not do something when we know that we have consequences to pay. Figure out what is your worst case consequence. I got this idea from a book I’ve been reading lately, “Maybe It’s You” and the author suggests things like no coffee or chocolate when you break your commitment. She goes as far as suggesting flushing real money down the toilet or having to donate money to a political candidate you truly detest. Why? Because when you have to do these sorts of things, breaking your commitment to your new habit or goal becomes a whole lot less attractive.
Quit the negative self talk. I don’t know about you, but I am meaner to myself than I would ever be to anyone else. The things I say to myself, about myself, would literally never cross my lips about another human being. And yet, most days I don’t even bat an eyelash at what self talk I’m allowing.
Chime in below with what healthy habits you want to start.