Habits and Routines Can Help You Stick to Your Resolutions
Willpower alone will only take you so far. When it fades, habits and routines can help you stick to the changes you’re making. That’s why it’s important to change your mindset when it comes to resolutions. Instead of viewing this time as making a big change, it might help you to look at it as simply adjusting and adding new habits to your routine. Once something becomes a regular practice, it’s much easier to continue doing it. With repetition comes real change. Let’s examine how habits and routines can help you stick to your resolutions.
Habits and Routines Make It Automatic
The biggest benefit of focusing on creating habits instead of simply setting a resolution is that habits become automatic once they’re practiced enough. If you make a plan and set a strategic goal to add something like going to the gym three times a week to your life, it will likely soon become something you no longer have to think about. Your body will crave that workout time, and you’ll miss it if you skip a scheduled day.
When you start to implement habits and routines into the pursuit of your goal, you’re actually making things a lot easier on your brain. You don’t have to stress out about decision-making because you’ll already know what you’re planning to do. At least for the most part. Habits generally follow a similar pattern each time. It’s comforting to rely on that and to know that you won’t have to struggle so much to make the decision that’s right for you.
Once the small changes you’re putting in place become routine, you’ll begin to complete them with ease. Before these things became habit, they probably seemed intimidating or out-of-reach. Now that you’re accomplishing them on a regular basis, you can definitely feel proud of yourself. That sense of accomplishment and pride will help carry you through to the next goal.
Willpower is the elusive concept that allows you to overcome temptation and stick with your resolutions even when they’re hard. Once you start turning small changes into habits, you’ll start to notice you experience less resistance to actually doing these new things. When you’re faced with temptation like that birthday cake at the office, it will be easier to decline because you’ve gotten used to eating less sugar. So, no, willpower alone isn’t enough to overcome temptation. However, combined with the implementation of small habits, your willpower can definitely be increased.
These are some of the ways that habits and routines can help to boost the potential of your resolutions being successful. Hopefully, you now see the benefits of adding strategic, small changes to your life so that they can become automatic. Each small step leads to big transformation.
The Power of Habit
I highly recommend the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg if you want to learn how to create new habits or change bad habits! It all comes down to triggers or cues, behaviors or routines, and rewards.