As A Matter of Habit
It is just a fact of life that this is the time of year we lie to ourselves and say "new year new me". Another set of facts is that you did not change overnight because of simple passage of time. Habits you have will take more than a new calendar. One thing the last 12 months did give you is a batch of teachings that came from success AND failures.
I 100% believe that I learned far more from the scary things I tried and fail miserably at this year. The things I tried and didn't succeed at set me up for a more successful way of accomplishing things when I am ready to try again. There is something exciting about starting over with new knowledge. Feels a little bit like a cheat code on life. Hopefully some of my lessons I learned this year can be a cheat code for others.
So here is what I have learned about myself that will help you build better habits and routine.
Put success in your path
This was a big one for me. I know I am FULL of excuses. Even if I know a task needs completing or a goal is within grasp... self sabotage. So here putting things in the path around the goal are like setting traps, little land minds for success.
Step 1. ID the goal or task.
Step 2. ID the things you put in your way to accomplishing it.
Step 3. LAY THE TRAP!
If you know you are stubborn like I am... put things that are tools to success in your daily path. You may ask what does that look like.
Example: I snack unchecked. I have a counter outside my snack filled pantry so I put a measured out portion of an acceptable snack on that counter for the next day. One or 2 servings set aside for me to stop, snack, and walk away from.
Do it anyways
Not a novel idea here. There has been the motto floating around for years of "just do it scared". Great one, but I like "go ahead and make the excuses, out loud even, then do it anyway". Do it scared, do it reluctantly, do it pissed off, do it messy, but above all do it anyway.
Failure is knowledge, don't fear it
This goes along with the first one but think of it like this, what if failure was part of the task at hand. What if the full process is: try, fail, learn, try again until you succeed. I mean that is exactly what you were taught in High School English class. Outline (ie goal setting), draft (attempt one that comes with failure and learning), final edit (accomplishing the goal). Failure is a built in part of any successful process. Scientific method is another hypothesis, testing, results, and MOST of the time retest or re-calculate the theory and start again.
I think it is time we learn to give ourselves grace, learn along the way, and find the better way to achieve our goals.
Decide if you are a short goal or long goal person
I realized on my final 5k of the year that if I set small goals say "sprint to that tree" I almost always stop early. But I know this now about myself so I will keep to bigger overall time goals will be just fine. You need to look at failure points and see how to trick yourself into success.
If its setting daily goals to get you to a weekly or long term goal...then you might be a short goal person. If you are someone that would rather just know when the end line is... long goal game is your thing. Only you know what you are willing to do and only you can see the patterns in your habits.
What I am trying to say is..... TRY!
In spite of doubt, worry, failure, fear.... no matter the task at hand it always has to start with try. The hardest things in life are worth failing miserably at. Love, major life change, education, new healthy habits. They are all out there waiting for you to absolutely suck at them.
At the end of the day, I believe in you. Do you?