How are your New Year’s resolutions going for 2015? Did you make any? Or have you given up long ago, resigned to the fact that they fall by the wayside after the first week or two, or never even get started?
I realise that talking about New Year’s resolutions in March seems a bit ridiculous. But for the first time in pretty much ever, I have managed to start and maintain two resolutions so far this year. Yeehaa!
I’ve taken on Leo of Zen Habits‘ idea, of establishing one habit at a time. One and no more. Maintaining the discipline of investing my energy into that one thing only, for one whole month. That is the key. It takes about 3-4 weeks to cement a new habit in the brain, so we need to wait till it’s truly ingrained before we shift our focus to the next thing. And then, in theory, when you add in that second habit, the first one requires less mental effort to maintain.
It’s been revolutionary for me.
I’ve always been one to think of all 74 things I’d like to change, and attempt to take them all on at once on the 1st of January each year. Result: miserable fail every time.
What are my new habits?
January: morning running. I’m still going, and even loving it some days.
February: daily writing. I love the discipline of writing every day. Some days I’m proud of what I produce, some days, it’s crap. But the fact that I’m sitting down daily provides a satisfaction of its own.
March: reading daily to my kids. This may seem like a no brainer to some of you. But living in a house fraught with tantrums, as ours has been, it can be hard to find a quiet enough moment to get through even one book. So that’s the current focus.
If you’re keen to take on the one habit challenge, I recommend writing a big list of all the habits that come to mind, and adding to it as you think of them. But once you’ve chosen the one for the month, stick with that, and don’t try and sneak another one in before the month’s out.
What habit do you most want to establish?