Resolutions or Habits?

As we close 2017, I’ve been readings all the sage advice about New Years’ Resolution Making. I’m wondering if it should be resolutions or habits?  As a died-in-the-wool resolution maker, and a keeper of accountability, I looked at last year’s resolutions and determined that the pattern continues. I make some resolutions that don’t stick and create maybe one new habit that sticks permanently.

So, for 2018 I am introducing some new habits. Daniel Pink, in an essay adapted from his new book,When:The Scientific Secrets of Perfect TIming, suggests bringing your daily rhythms, your tasks and your time into alignment. That resonates with my own thinking. When taking our weekly hike, Paul and I discussed adding one more hike a week into our regular weekly calendar. We agreed to make it at 6:30 on Tuesday mornings. That means adjusting my 1-2-1 schedule to start later on Tuesdays and agreeing that one week a month Paul will be walking alone as I have a Vistage meeting that day. So now that is in the calendar.

Further, you need to have a “why” to motivate the new habit. For us, it is a 5-7 day hike this summer in the Eastern Sierra. Getting in shape for that is a serious motivator as it is not easy hiking long distances at altitude.

Making sure you have a partner helps in the accountability. Sometimes, I create secret challenges for myself when I am not quite ready to publicly commit. Do you do that too? It seems like I float a trial balloon and it can pop pretty quickly. The good ones might stick around long enough to be develop as a new habit.

One of Daniel Pink’s other suggestions is to take more breaks each day. It could be to stop and breathe for 5 minutes each hour. Or, take a short walk. He suggests that being outside is better, and not taking your device with you makes it a super habit. Scheduling a couple of daily break times reduces stress and improves your mood.

So for 2018, create a new healthy habit. I wish you a prosperous and a healthy 2018!