The Smart Difference Between Resolutions and Habit Change

habit change, new year, reaching goals, healthy habits
3 min read

Focus on Habit Change Rather Than Resolutions

Resolutions are typically goal oriented without much in-depth planning. The most typical resolutions set in the new year include:
  • I’ll exercise more
  • I want to lose weight
  • I will get more organized
  • I will quit smoking or drinking
These are great goals, but what next? When you don’t have a clear or structured plan to reach that goal you are more likely to fail.

Habits Defined

The definition of a habit is ‘a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.’ Habit change is more specific and routine focused. True behavior change or habit change is identity change. It’s about becoming the kind of person who chooses healthy living because it is who you are. With every behavior, you are casting a vote for who you want to be. When we make change on this level of identity, the follow through with habits becomes automatic. The habits that create our best life become non-negotiable. It becomes who we are.

When you focus on habit change you are creating the mapwork to reaching your overall goal, especially when those habits are realistic and intentional. Habits will help you reach your goals and cement long-term behavior change. If you are struggling to achieve or maintain a specific healthy habit, there are some key questions you may need to be asking yourself before moving foward.
  • Why do you want to change this habit? This is a strong motivator to change. What will you get out of changing this habit? What is good about this habit? Really take a deep look into your answer to this question before getting started.
  • What will be different in your life once you do? Think of the many things that will begin to arrive or change when you do achieve this habit. Want to begin improving your sleep? What do you think will be different in your days once you begin sleeping 2 more hours a night or begin to improve your sleep cycle? Perhaps you will have more energy and improved mood. Maybe you will be able to better focus on your workload.
  • What is truly getting in the way of you sticking to this habit change? One of the main reasons people give up on lasting change is fear of failure. If you have tried and failed in the past, it can be difficult to have confidence moving forward. Be kind to yourself no matter how many times you slip up or fail. Forgive yourself and try again. This question is key in overcoming this. What derailed you before and what is getting in your way now? Most excuses are directly linked to fear. Face these fears and roadblocks head on so you can let go of the bad behaviors and create new healthy habits.
  • When will I do this new behavior? It is important to develop strategies and plans to achieve habit change. Is this habit realistic and meaningful for you right now? Establish clear initiatives to achieving this. If your goal is to make daily activity a habit, when will you do this? Can you stack this behavior with something that is already a habit? Perhaps you wake and have coffee at the same time every day,. Exercise for 5 minutes immediately after or while your coffee is brewing.
  • What needs to change for me to achieve this lasting habit change? Changing behaviors is tough and you will need to get real with yourself. There may be things you will need to avoid or give up to be successful. You are the only one who can truly determine what will need to change in your life for this to be lasting change.  

If you are still struggling with making lasting change or finding the answers to these questions, consider hiring a health coach. Check out the SB Wellness Healthy Leaders Coaching Program we offer: Healthy Leaders

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