The New Year is both a great and a terrible time to try and start a new habit.
It’s great because there are times and seasons during the year that are more conducive to starting something new. Spring and fall tend to be times when we take on new projects and goals. And, of course, the New Year also has its own momentum for starting fresh that we’ve even built into our culture.
How many New Year’s resolutions have you started that just didn’t stick?
The reason New Year can be a terrible time to start a new habit is because so many of us overcommit.
Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Last
Many folks’ New Year’s ResolutionS involve too much change all at once.
The problem with too much change too fast is that it’s very difficult to sustain.
When you start on a new habit or routine, it takes a certain amount of activation energy to get going and build momentum. And, the greater the change, the greater the activation energy required to implement that change.
For example: It takes much less energy to go on a 5-minute walk each day at lunchtime than it does to go on a 60-minute run every morning before work.
Keeping things simple was how I was able to recently complete 365 days in a row of perfect activity on my Apple Watch. For the whole year my main focus was to make sure I did a 15-minute workout every day. Just 15 minutes every day. That was it. And everything else pretty much took care of itself.
What Change Do You Want to Make in 2020?
As you consider the New Year, what new routine or lifestyle change do you want to make? Or what routine do you want to build upon?
Start by doing this:
Implement the easiest, and most simple version of that change now.
In 2020 if you want to build a writing habit, then start now by writing for 20 minutes one day a week.
If you want to begin exercising, then start now by doing a 30-minute workout once a week.
If you want to begin eating healthier, than begin now by making one simple, positive change to your diet.
If you want to learn a new skill, then start now by reading one chapter in a book, one day per week.
Consider it a head start on your New Year’s goals.
By startIng small now then it will help you build momentum and confidence heading into the New Year.
And then, as you start the New Year, you won’t be starting your new goals from scratch! You will already have a few months worth of momentum and experience that will give you a huge advantage so you can continue that momentum on into 2020.