Who’s ready for 2021 🙋♀️? This past year has been anything but easy to say the least. At the same time, it has also helped us put a lot in perspective. We have probably never spent so much time with our families, at home, or in our sweatpants all day. Combine that with a likely less than normal holiday this past week, and anyone might feel out of sorts. Yet, this next week is probably one of my favorites in the entire year. I always separate time to reflect on what goals I reached in the last 365 days and what I need to focus on in the new year. It helps me focus on what I can control.
However, for 2021, instead of just writing down goals and resolutions, I plan to take a different approach and focus on habits. A person can just look around during the month of January and see more people exercising or eating a healthy salad, but studies have shown that 80% of them will stop by the end of the month. It’s usually because we are just looking at a generic fix to be a better version without focusing on a personal connection. Resolutions focus on the outcomes of actions instead of the action itself. We try and cram an entire years worth into one day. So for example, many people focus on improving their fitness, and they go out and try to run several miles when they even in the habit of running. Instead, if the overall goal is to become stronger, focus on building a habit that is so easy you can’t say no.
There was a great experiment where a person just started doing one push up a day. That was the habit they wanted to accomplish. It seems so small, almost pointless. Although, it wasn’t to just do one push up a day but instead to play tricks with their mind. If you only have to do one push up a day, that seems quite simple. In the experiment the person could easily accomplish a single push up; however, since they were already doing one, soon they found themselves doing two, three, ten a day. They increased their strength and built a habit that helped them accomplish their overall goal of getting stronger.
You can do the same with just about any goal. If you want to do well in a specific class, set the goal to just review material for one minute a day. You can reread a few sentences of notes, go over the material. You will probably find that by setting the bar so small, you may all of a sudden find yourself reviewing for several minutes every day and becoming stronger in the subject matter. This in turn helps you build good study habits.
How to build habits by starting small:
- Start by thinking big. Something that you may think is just outside your reach. Maybe you want to get an A in a class you have always struggled in, or improve your shooting percentage.
- Think of something very small that you can do that at a basic level would help you improve. In the above example, you could go over your notes for that class or focus on your foul line shot.
- Set a goal to work on that daily habit for just one minute every day.
- Be patient and force yourself to do at least the minute (although you will likely find yourself doing more some days).
- Build small habits that can make a big impact. You should not work on too many goals at a time. So start with two or three things until you feel confident enough that you can add a new one without stopping the others. Knowing you are separating just two or three minutes a day makes it manageable.
- Keep going!
For this #MakeItHappen Monday, think about what big goals you would like to accomplish this year, and then break it down to something tiny that you can do every day for one minute. Let us know what habits you’re working on, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social.Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”
– Warren Buffet