Building New Habits

Image source: Mike Rhode
Image source: Mike Rhode

Today is the 12th day of the month. The clock seems to be running down on 2015 already. I bet most of you have set goals, targets or resolutions for the year. How is that working out for you? Are you still on target or are you struggling?

My main 2015 resolution is to build new habits and develop new skills. I aim to be realistic with myself this year. I would normally start the year with many goals, get overwhelmed, fail before the end of January and feel guilty the rest of the year for lacking discipline.

This is the reason I decided to give up ineffective approaches and try something new this year. I have adopted a ‘less is more’ goal setting approach. I realise that I can only handle about three things at a time. The plan is to focus on the first set of three things during the entire month of January. Tackle these things daily and by the end of the month; these three activities should hopefully become three new habits.

This means that I can start three new activities in February because the January activities should be embedded into my daily routine. I should then automatically do these January activities in February without much concentrated effort. This is the power of habits. I reckon that by the end of the year; I should have systemically incorporated a series of positive and productive habits into my lifestyle.

This current goal setting strategy seems to be working so far and I would update you of my progress in future blog posts.





7 replies on “Building New Habits”

Absolutely…my approach to 2015 is to make gradual incremental changes….i recently learnt that it takes 8 wks to form a habit…i can work with that

I believe the length of time it takes to build a habit depends on the complexity of the activity. My January activities are simple tasks so I reckon that 4 weeks will be sufficient to convert them into habits. It would be interesting to see how I manage with complex activities later in the year.

Nice one…folks generally just lack discipline. Full stop. They want to see changes and result yesterday!

Folks are generally impatient by nature but building a habit requires discipline, patience, time and effort. This can be frustrating for folks because like you said, “they want to see changes and results yesterday.”

Couldn’t agree more. I started the new habits approach in the last fourteen days of 2014…so far it’s become a lifestyle. I think I may adopt your three things at a time approach too…less is definitely more. Keep us posted on how you get on

I am glad to hear that your habit building is going very well. I would also love to hear about how you progress with building new habits and incorporating them into your lifestyle.

I hear you Prof. I don’t generally make resolutions either, I tend to just have a ‘plan of action going forward’.
This year, I have made my POA more concise and focused, so I will hopefully get qualitatively and quantitatively better results over time.
The other thing is to not feel guilty for doing self-developmental things that will seem selfish at first but will actually benefit the people I interact with because, ultimately, an even better me will will manifest.
My 2015 is going to be a lot about actually crossing things off my to-do list…

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