Looking to make a positive change in your life? Got some New Year’s resolutions? Want to start a healthy habit?
Then follow this blueprint.
- Focus on one change at a time. Plan to cook healthy meals, rather than planning to cook healthy meals and to start going to the gym and to drink less alcohol. You can make all these changes over time, but if you try to change them all at once, the risk is too high that you’ll fail, be discouraged, and stop completely.
- Frame your change in positive terms. For example, resolve to cook a healthy meal twice a week rather than setting a vague intention to “eat no more junk food”. By framing your change positively, you won’t get so down on yourself if you’re not 100% disciplined. You also focus on your wins, which will motivate you to continue.
- Start small. Cook a healthy meal once a week. Go to the gym three times a week—but lift modestly. Meditate for three minutes per day. Start your new habits on this order of magnitude. Then, once you’ve made this small start a consistent habit, go further. Cook a healthy meal twice a week, lift heavier weights, or meditate for five minutes a day.
- Use an accountability buddy. Ask someone to keep you accountable, in a positive way. Have them ask you whether you have done x yet today. Or have them join you—if you want to build a habit of running regularly, then run with a friend. Just be careful that you don’t let your partner demotivate you. If you decide to go running together and your friend flakes—run anyway.
What habit are you trying to develop right now?
P.S. To get serious about accountability, consider joining my one-on-one coaching program. I’m offering €100 off of three months of one-on-one coaching for the first two people who respond. That makes it €699, instead of the usual €799.