Statistically, roughly 80 percent of people who make resolutions going into the new year will not stick to their ambitions. Sound familiar? Chalk-it-up to setting unrealistic goals, applying too much self-pressure, or incorporating too many restrictions, one thing is for sure, keeping your resolutions and changing habits can be hard.
Sure, any reason mentioned above is a motivation buzz kill, but what if successfully sticking to your resolutions all comes down to the driving purpose behind them?
Here’s a fresh perspective on how value and purpose-driven goals can turn your resolutions into life-long sustainable habits that you enjoy!
Tie Your Resolutions to Something You Deeply Care About
The ability to make long-lasting changes (habits) runs deeper than the want for six-pack abs. Sure, losing weight and feeling strong is great, but oftentimes, the reason resolutions such as these, don’t stick is because they aren’t tied to something you really care about; something value and virtue-driven.
Justin Roethlingshoefer, founder of Own It, a digital platform that enables coaches to turn their athletes’ wearable data into meaningful performance and recovery gains explains, “Tie losing weight to the value of family and wanting to be able to engage in activities with your kids and grandkids — now you have something sustainable.”
It’s not necessarily about goals being unattainable, we simply have to make them purposeful. “Tie the action to a value and virtue so deeply rooted that it propels motivation,” says Roethlingshoefer. This not only helps us form new habits, but these habits have a meaning which makes the process it takes to accomplish goals more enjoyable and sustainable.
When we set our sights on a goal, no matter if it is unattainable or not, wherever we get in accomplishing that goal is a false peak, meaning, there is always something next that needs to be accomplished, and that can be extremely demotivating. Fortunately, there is a way to combat that. “If we alter the mindset in which we begin to reach that goal, and tie it to something we value, those items become habits that no longer become just one or many number of months long, but instincts that create life change,” he adds.
Use Visualization: The Good & the Bad
When you visualize the positive outcome of your goal-setting (that’s tied to something of value and virtue) and can get very clear on the outcome, you’ve just unlocked one of the biggest keys to success. “This process creates hormone changes (serotonin and dopamine) that drive positive action for us to get started,” Roethlingshoefer explains. However, visualizing failure also plays its part in staying the course.
He continues, “Once we start, the way to maintain motivation is to visualize failure consequences.” This again, changes the way our hormones interact and keep the motivation engaged and consistent.
Implement Time Bracketing to Make Habits Stick
Believe it or not, the first six hours of your day are vital to making your newfound habits last for a lifetime. Simply put, time bracketing is splitting your day into 3 or 4 parts: 0-6 hours after waking, 6-12 hours after waking, 12-18 hours after waking, and 18-24.
When trying to initiate a new habit, it should be placed somewhere within the first six hours of the day. “This is when our limbic friction or action resistance is easiest to overcome, leading to success in action, says Roethlingshoefer. This helps explain why ambitions tend to lessen as the day goes on.
Case in point, don’t skimp out on the most important habit-forming hours of the day!
Try Habit Stacking
Habit stacking (also termed habit chaining), is essentially training your brain to create new habits within your current routine. Essentially, habit stacking is piggybacking a new habit onto a pre-existing one. For example, if you consistently have a cup of coffee every morning, you might add a new habit with it such as eating a healthy breakfast or performing 20 pushups.
This strategy works by eliminating procrastination and creating new habits. Roethlingshoefer breaks it down: “When you wake up to your alarm and don’t hit snooze, you get up and go immediately into gratitude; You’re then led right into working out, which leads you to feel energetic, which leads to a great breakfast, which leads to less caffeine, which leads to a quality lunch” and so on. Setting a domino effect of positive actions throughout your day that eventually become healthy habits. No more giving up in February!
Track Your Fitness
Fitness trackers like WHOOP, and platforms such as Own It, can help you stay on track because what gets measured, whether it’s sleep or stress, gets managed; and what gets managed gets optimized. This means any area of your health that is being tracked and monitored can be improved upon which is vital to longevity and maintaining a healthy routine. “Our health is one of the greatest assets that we have, so managing it is no longer going to the doctor once a year or simply asking ourselves subjectively, how am I feeling?” says Roethlingshoefer. Having the ability to track the important aspects of your health at the tip of your fingers is the way of the future.
Creating a goal with a purpose behind it, and taking the necessary daily actions that will allow solid habits to form is a surefire way to fail-proof your January resolutions; even if you are starting over in February.
Additional Focus-Boosting Actions for Success:
- Phone a friend: Having an accountability partner to check in with helps limit procrastination and aids in encouragement.
- Utilize Focus-supporting supplements: A clean diet is great for the mind, but adding in supplements like Roman Focus that support calm energy, mental acuity, and concentration aids as another level of support when trying to create new habits.
- Jot it down: Taking notes about your journey, whether it’s the progress made or simply how you’re feeling along the way, will help you motivate you and allow you to refocus if needed.