Sticking to your New Year’s goals isn't that hard, you’re just doing it the wrong way.
Many of us view the new year as a new beginning and a time to work on improving ourselves. Low and behold the “new year, new me” phenomenon. Cue the New Year's resolutions flooding your mind (and social media feed). Unfortunately, most of these goals will not even last a month. What can we do to make sure that our goals for 2020 are not just dreamy, unattainable thoughts but are actions that actually stick? The secret of achieving any goal lies within the science of habits. The Habit Journal and this 5 step method below will reveal how you can reach your goals by first making your habits stick.
1. Think Big: Identify your Vision
Picture the ideal self you want to become - what does it look like? Visions, are a compilation goals and aren’t limited to the year, so think BIG. Brainstorm on a piece of paper the following:
Now that you’ve scribbled some of these thoughts on paper, try coming up with a vision that reflects all or most of what you’ve just put down. Do you envision yourself being financially free? Being healthy and physically fit? What about being highly successful in school or your career? Whatever your vision is, make sure it’s something that excites you and makes your heart beat a little faster.
2. Break it down: Come up with your Goals
The next step is to break your vision down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Goals should be specific, measurable, and actionable, think about what you want to accomplish this year, this month, or even this week. Maybe your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight or becoming more aware and informed on world issues. Whatever your goals are, pull out a piece of paper and jot them down. Did you know that you increase your chances of accomplishing a goal simply by writing it down? 40% - that means you’re already almost halfway there!
3. Act Small: Translate into Habits
We started big, now do the opposite - translate your goals into habits. Habits are regular behaviour patterns that are carved so deep into our brains that they become almost involuntary. Because they become almost second nature, habits are tremendously powerful in helping you achieve your goals. Hence, one seemingly small habit can greatly impact your quality of life and the way you do things. Expanding on the previous example of losing a certain amount of weight. Translating this goal into a habit could look something like this:
The magic number is 3 habits to focus on each month, and the Habit Journal does a very good job of walking you through the secret of realizing your goals through building habits.
4. Be Intentional: Track and Reflect Daily
Just 5 minutes. With just 5 minutes a day spent on the Habit Journal in tracking and reflecting on your habits, you’ll be able to build the life you envision with intent and purpose. Daily reflection and tracking help you keep yourself accountable to your habits and live your life with intention going forward. The Habit Journal includes a monthly tracker and a section for daily self-reflection, intention setting, and gratitude - all essential tools to help you grow and improve, putting you on the path towards achieving your goals.
5. Bring it all back: Review your progress Monthly and Quarterly
On average, it takes 21 to 90 days to build a habit. That’s why a month is the perfect amount of time to practice your habits and alter them if needed. With the Habit Journal, the reviewing of habits is split into months while the reviewing of goals is done every 4 months. At the end of each month, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Have I been consistent in carrying out your 3 habits?
- Is the action starting to feel like a habit?
- What can I do to improve the consistency of my habits?
Other than monthly reviews, it is also important to revisit your goals and habits quarterly to make sure you’re not losing sight of the big picture. Check that you’re habits still align with your goals and are indeed moving you closer to them. Take this time to also identify the goals that you’ll be committing to for the next 3 months.
The Bottom Line...
Although setting visions and goals sounds like a daunting task, it doesn’t need to be that way. Start small with habits and build towards your goals and visions.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
View visions and goals as the destination while habits are the map. This is where the Habit Journal comes in, serving as an effective and comprehensive tool to track your habits and goals. It is a tool that breaks down the most difficult goals into simple, attainable habits so that you are empowered to control your life and make sure that those 2020 goals end up sticking.