Resolution: a formal expression of intention
Habit: an acquired behavior regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary;
’Tis the season.
The season of resolutions. An official statement of what you aim to achieve in the coming year. Your 2018 proclamation.
Being resolute in what you want is a good thing. That clarity allows you to have a concrete vision of the outcome you want. Publicly or privately declaring what you expect from yourself is a positive step, but it’s not enough. You must have a simple, actionable strategy as to how you're going to get to the outcome. How you are going to make your resolution a reality, rather than just an intention, as the definition above describes.
In order to change something about yourself, you must change your behavior. To expand on that, you must change your behavior consistently. When you change or acquire a behavior, then practice it regularly, you begin to create a habit. As the definition above calls it, a tendency. For example,
you tend to order a flavored latte.
you tend to go through the drive through for breakfast on the way into work.
you tend to keep your favorite chocolate in your desk drawer.
you tend to order take out for lunch.
you tend to have a beer each day when you get home.
you tend to nibble on whatever snack is in the cupboard while you make dinner.
Look at your 2017 behaviors that may not be in favor of your 2018 resolution. Then decide what your new behavior is going to be. I am going to,
order a traditional, unflavored latte.
pack a hard boiled egg and piece of fruit for breakfast every morning.
keep pre-portioned snack baggies of my favorite nuts in my desk drawer.
bring salad fixings to work every Monday and whip up a scrumptious lunch each day.
take the dog for a walk each day after work.
snack on the raw veggies that you keep cut up in the fridge while making dinner.
Choose just one. That’s the kicker, the ticket to success that we often miss. You want to direct all of your efforts and attention on a singular behavior. This exponentially increases your chance of achievement. So seriously, choose one behavior and stop thinking about the rest.
Personally, I tend to binge snack in the evenings. I want to change that behavior. I have determined that my sole focus is to brew hot water and drink 1-2 mugs of herbal tea every evening. That’s it. Drink tea in the evening. That is the habit I want to instill in 2018.
There is a lot to be said for that one initial change, changing your whole life —more on that in next months blog.
So, start by determining your intention. Make your resolution, but don’t stop there. Choose a single behavior that you will focus on. Put that behavior into practice each and every day. Before you know it, you’ll be moving full throttle towards achieving your resolution.
Check back in with me next month to evaluate how your behavior change is shaping up, and we’ll discuss how that single habit can really make an impact and change your life without you even realizing it!