The Skill of Making Habits

Each New Year, people around the world make their resolutions. While I’m not big into making new year resolutions, I thought I would give it a shot. Well, one month later, I was only really successful at one of the goals. I’ve stopped drinking coke completely, and my overall sugary drink consumption has drastically dropped. Instead of several cokes a day, it more of a root beer once or twice a week. However, my other major goal of working out every morning was a total flop.

Then I started to think about how people make changes in their lives. When I just focused on not drinking coke, it wasn’t easy, but totally possible. They say it takes about 21 days to form a habit. So instead of listing out a dozen goals at the beginning of the year, why not tackle a new one each month? Focus on one habit you want to create or change, spend the first 21 days creating it, and the remainder of the month keeping it. By the time the new month rolls around, your new habit is set and ready to go, and time to tackle a new habit.

One reason I believe setting one goal per month is typically one goal requires multiple changes. With giving up coke, I had to figure out what to replace it with. That means I had to keep our Brita pitcher full of water, which I had to make sure we had enough filters. When night time server emergencies occurred, or I had to drive late in the night, how could I get some caffeine?

So February I’ve made the goal to work out at least four times a week, hopefully five. That required me to get up earlier in the morning, which in turn means I had to go to bed earlier. I made sure I knew where my workout DVDs were at, that I pulled the weights out, and I had my workout clothes ready. That way, when my alarm went off, I could get up and go work out.

I can say, this week, I’ve worked out 3 days and tomorrow will make a fourth. Its not easy, but taking one habit at a time makes it totally possible. So from now on, each month, I’m going to tackle one habit. I have a theory, that the ability to make and change habits is an actual skill. Maybe down the road I’ll be able to make two, or even three habits a month. I’ll keep posting updates with how things are going.

For March, I think I’m going make it a habit to bring my lunch to work each day, which will help me eat healthier and save some money. My suggestion to anyone who wants to make some changes in their life, take it one habit at a time each month.

2 thoughts on “The Skill of Making Habits

  1. Great post Justin! You are totally right, maybe I should take your suggestion and run with it. Hrmm, no Coke would be difficult, but doable.

    Like

  2. thanks admin good site

    Like

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