Every year as soon as the holidays come to a close, we are bombarded with messaging around the new year ahead and the importance of setting new year’s resolutions. It has become in many respects part of culture, part of our American tradition. We get excited for the fresh start and try to will big things in the year ahead. Everything from going to the gym, reading more, playing an instrument, the list goes on. Our family, our friends and even our workplaces are engaged in this tradition. You would think this type of engagement would set us up for success but in reality, it is quite the opposite. Depending on what research you look at, less than 10-20% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. With this, not only do we become move further away from our goals but we become disengage with the This is not very encouraging but there is good news!
The excitement, the desire, the will to seek something better is there for so many people. Will power is not what will carry people through the tough times especially with the competing responsibilities of life that we need to navigate. Habits are what take us through each day – whether they are good habits or bad habits, habits ultimately are what determine what we do. We are habitual beings. We do not think about the majority of our habits because they are hard wired into our brains and create our routines. It would be exhausting and not efficient if we had to think about this every day.
One of the main reasons that New Year’s Resolution do not work is that we are trying to change one of these hard-wired habits. That does not happen easily. There is a however a way to work around this with a little bit of reflection and strategy.
First: Ask yourself a few questions:
- What are your core values?
- What do you want in the year ahead?
- What do you need to do to get it/there?
- Why is this desire/goal important to you?
- What makes you unique?
Second: What are your current positive habits?
- Identify as many positive habits as possible.
- Detail the time of day these habits are.
- Identify the times of day you are mentally engaged
- Identify the times of day you have a little extra time and/or could rearrange current items.
Three: Layer on top of your current positive habits.
- Detail the ideal habits and the priority of habits that are needed to support your desire/goal
- Layer one new positive action onto one of your current positive habits with the intention of this new positive intention becoming a positive habit.
- Consider layering an additional positive intention on top of the new action or to a completely different positive habit once your new action it has become a daily habit for 66 days
This new year consider setting yourself up for your best year yet. Create a new positive habit that will support what is most important to you.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action. It is a habit.” -Aristotle
Follow Katherine Liola’s Financial Fitness Planning Tip of the week every Friday on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Registered Investment Advisor.
Schedule a Consultation
Got questions? We'd love to spend some time getting to know you and your goals, and offer our best insight into the right investment strategy for you. Schedule a consultation today.