It takes 28 days to build a habit so that means if you focus on one thing at a time by the end of the year you will have 12 NEW habits in your life.
We all start the New Year with great intentions, but intentions need to become actions. For many, our intentions are sincere but we can only succeed with proper preparation, realistic goals and manageable expectations. We live in an instant world where we want it all now and when we don’t achieve instantly we lose sight of our goals. If we are patient and take it one day at a time we will see things turn around for our best.
ACTION: Make a list of 12 habits you would like to form in 2018. Try and focus on one per month.
Here are 7 things that will help you achieve your new habits for 2018.
1. One Day at a Time
Goals are made daily not yearly- We get excited for January 1 and make bold decisions to change. However, these decisions are daily not yearly. Every day is fresh starts so don’t allow your success to be measured in years but take it each day at a time. Give yourself grace to make mistakes and try again.
2. Be Patient
Make changes slowly. We try and go cold turkey but making small changes leads towards big differences. For me, I want to get my eating on track this year. So instead of making big changes all at once, I make small ones. Last month I cut milk out of my diet. Now I will slowly cut sugar. These small changes will eventually bring me to a whole new way of eating but this takes time. Remember the movie What about Bob? BABY STEPS!
3. Manage Expectations
You are where you are because of the choices you have made. You didn’t get where you are overnight so to reverse or work towards new change will take time. Don’t get frustrated but have a healthy outlook on your goals. If one of your goals is to read more, any progress is good progress. So if you are able to read just one book then you have made progress. Make achievable goals that you can succeed at. If this is your diet, then remove one things from your diet each month and add something new in. Before you know it, you have a new habit!
4. Plan to Succeed
Preparation is everything and this requires thinking ahead. If you want to eat healthier than having proper groceries and a meal plan will help you. When you don’t have this you reach for whatever is available and this sends you back down the path you want to get away from. Maybe you want to launch a blog or learn a skill. You will need to set aside time daily and build a proper road map to do this well and commit time, even if it’s a small amount. Trying to do it all at once can leave you overwhelmed and frustrated.
Decluttering your schedule, home and mind means you need to remove the things that are holding you back. Simplifying your life is to let go of the things that are not advancing you and make room for the things that will. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you find out what matters in 2018.
- Is what I am currently working on weighing me down from what I want to achieve?
- Is what I am working on bringing return into my life (financially or personally)
- Is what I am working on moving me forwards, backwards or keeping me in neutral?
- What do I have the most ownership of? Let go of the things that you own the least.
6. Celebrate the Wins
You won’t achieve without sacrifice but what makes achieving great is that you learn to enjoy the rewards life offers. Take time to celebrate the wins no matter how big or small.
7. Don’t Compare Yourself
Eleanor Roosevelt said Comparison is the thief of joy. There will be others who achieve faster than you and you will witness their success. Their path is not your path. This is about you and your journey. Never run someone else's race but stay true to your goals and keep your eyes focused on what you are working towards. Don’t allow the success of another become demotivating for you.
In the end this is about you achieving what is in your heart. When you achieve your goals it feels good and helps you move forward in your own life. Work hard, stay focused but enjoy the journey.
An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.