Quit New Year’s Resolutions and Make Small Changes Instead

It’s that time of year again. New Year, New Me.

But we all know how that story goes.

We have all the best intentions as we diligently draft down our New Year’s Resolutions, deciding how we can improve ourselves during the coming year.

Losing weight, exercising more, saving money, spending less time on our phones, spending more time with loved ones — the list goes on. But what all of these things have in common is they are big goals.

The first couple of weeks we’ll commit ourselves as fully as we can, and then that’s it. We’re exhausted.

Going too hard, too fast, almost always ends in failure. And that’s hardly going to fill us with hope for the year ahead.

No More Resolutions

But what about if we did one thing every day that moves us closer to our overall goals?

Choosing a salad over a fast food lunch, skipping your morning Starbucks coffee to save money, setting website blockers on your phone for the day so you don’t end up mindlessly scrolling.

If you choose to pick just ONE thing each day, you may not see a monumental change overnight, but you will see small improvements each day — and that’s what will ultimately put us on the path to long-term success.

“Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results”

Over the past few days, I’ve rattled through James Clear’s revolutionary book, ‘Atomic Habits’. His idea is if we want better results, we need to forget about setting goals or resolutions. We instead need to focus on our system instead.

We’ve been programmed to believe that if we want to change our life, we need to think big. And whilst that’s true when we look to the bigger picture, the best way to get there is by starting small.

An atomic habit is a small habit that is a part of a larger system. And real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small changes — skipping that morning coffee, doing one push-up a day, or waking up 5-minutes earlier.

Getting 1% better every day counts for a lot in the long-run and that’s exactly how we should be approaching our daily lives. To achieve more, aim for less.

Do It For You

And whilst all of this is good advice, there’s no point making any changes if it isn’t what you really want.

Be kind to yourself.

No matter how attainable our goals, life happens. Some days we won’t want to get out of bed in the morning, other days we’ll want to eat junk food all day. That’s okay.

Every day is a new day to reset or readjust those habits to make them work for you.

And remember — the road of improvement goes on for a lifetime, not for a year. If you can make just one small change and hold onto it, that’s progress and a worthwhile accomplishment in itself.

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