Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions the James Clear Way

I’m not usually a New Year’s Resolution kind of girl. I just make resolutions all year until I get buried under a mound of them, and then reset at the end of December because I can’t remember what all of them were anyway. *sigh*

However, this year I did have some things I wanted to accomplish; most of them habits I wanted to form. Fortunately for me a friend gave me print outs of James Clear’s Transform Your Habits and Foundations of Strength which you can get for free if you sign up for emails (which I highly recommend you do. Even if you unsubscribe to the emails afterwards the guides are really good. You probably won’t regret it if you keep the emails though). Foundations of Strength focuses more on the habit of exercising regularly, but still has some great stuff in it.

He lays out a method for forming and more importantly KEEPING good habits as well as getting rid of bad ones. It involves changing your mindset. I won’t go into all of it here since he says it so well in his articles. But what has been the most helpful to me this month is: start small, remind yourself with things that are already in place, and don’t rely on motivation.

So here’s a few of the things I wanted to make habitual:

  1. Practice piano
  2. Exercise
  3. Write

I wanted to do all of these things once a day. Exercising was easy because my family gave me the T25 program for Christmas (it was on my list 😉 ). I was motivated to begin with, and I’ve used the program before. There are actually posts coming in which I review it, so I’ll go more into why that one’s easy for me to keep up with there.

So the first thing, start small, means to make your new habits so easy that you can’t say no. For me that means write for about 10-15 minutes, and play through 2 songs one time everyday. It takes very little time or effort, so I’m less likely to make excuses not to do it.

The second, setting reminders, means taking something you already do every day (eat lunch for example), or something that happens to you (commercial comes on TV), and use it to remind you to do your new habit. For me this means that when I rest after exercising I write. I don’t need much time to cool down before I shower, but since I’m only trying to write a little bit right now it works. Exercising is my reminder to write.

The third, don’t rely on motivation, is fairly self explanatory. Motivation goes away and then you’re faced with a day that you don’t want to do whatever it is you’re trying to make a habit. In his article he said something that really made an impression on me “Professionals stick to the schedule, amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work towards it with purpose, amateurs get pulled off course by the urgencies of life.” Good right? I know, you should really read them. 😉

While this is all very helpful I thought I’d add another element. My blog! Now that I’ve written them down I plan to update you all on whether I’m able to make these into real habits and meet my New Year’s resolutions.

So, did you make any New Year’s resolutions? How is it going? Do you have any methods for cementing habits? And for all you moms out there: how do you keep good habits when you have a baby? Or more importantly, when you have more than one? I’d love to get your feedback!

Have a blessed week!

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