How to make habits stick…

I thought this was a really interesting topic to investigate alongside the New Year, goal setting and the dreaded ‘resolutions’ that are made and often broken. What makes the difference between setting goals, or essentially trying to form new habits, and actually making them stick?

I used to be great at making and keeping goals and I really enjoy working towards something and feeling that real buzz of achievement. However, over recent years this has really tailed off and I have struggled to even find the motivation to really get my teeth into something and make any headway. I could blame the lack of sleep and general exhaustion associated with rearing a family of little ones, or moving house and locations every couple of years, but I possibly need to attend a few therapy sessions to discover the real reason behind it all. The long and the short of it is I’m stuck and need to embrace my theme for the year of being ‘brave’ and moving forward into pastures new and unknown.

I found this article intriguing, even though the title was quite horrifying ‘As soon as you wake up, put your feet on the floor’….what?! Are you serious? In the depths of winter, with the house in darkness, stick my feet out of bed and onto the floor, it almost feels like a step too far! Once I recovered from the fact that I might not be quite ready to take this one small step, I was already caught up in the gist of the article. Sometimes it only takes one small change to impact positively on other areas of our lives. This had potential! I could do this (with a little more information and guidance), which led me on to this book about forming and keeping habits (as mentioned in the article above). I’m still working my way through the book, but I have already picked up some great tips and knowledge to help me become more successful at building effective habits. The highlights so far:

  • understanding what ‘type’ of person I am (as this impacts on how to approach habit formation)
  • monitoring behaviour – providing a form of accountability
  • focusing on eating, sleeping, exercise & clutter, as these impact on everything else in our lives
  • making a clear timetable/plan/routine to work by each day

My first small step to work on is sleeping, this is one of my weak areas. After the children are in bed this is the time I get to choose what I would like to do (within reason) and often I put off going to bed so I can have more me-time. My goal for this week is to go to bed early and get up early and monitor the impact this has on other areas of my life. I have managed it 2 out of 2 nights so far so it’s going well! I’m looking forward to seeing some positive results.

Check out this video for some more simple ideas to successfully keeping up those New Year’s Resolutions, from life coach Holly Smith.


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