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By Dr. Joel Richards

I have a resolution not to set resolutions. With so many distractions in life, it is very natural to lose motivation; especially with something that seems too good to be true, or too far out of reach. Here’s the thing about resolutions – they are not easy to attain.
The thing about resolutions, they will never come easy. If they did you wouldn’t have to set them in the first place. You will always have to work every step of the way towards your resolution. It may take a long time for you to actually see your resolution materialize in front of you. That is why they fizzle out in February.

So what to do now? Give up making them? No, not at all. Just stop setting unrealistic resolutions or goals that loss steam after January. Try something different this year — Don’t make resolutions create habits.

Habits are much more powerful, they’re actual activities that drive you toward your goal, instead of vague goals that can’t easily be measured. The only goal of habits is that the goal is never over. It’s about managing your activities, not your results, and it’s incredibly powerful. Habits start with a simple daily or weekly routine that one does until it becomes almost natural and it feels unnatural to not do it.
If you set a goal or resolution to lose 20lbs by this summer, it can easily be put off because it is 6 months away and with this weather who really cares about bathing suits? All it takes is 30 days to adopt a new habit, so start small and do something every day, like walking and once that becomes part of your daily routine adopt another habit. Each new habit will compound on to the one before and before you know it you will have lost 20lbs.

The real key to this is to not think in terms of goals. Think in terms of activities, and manage your day-to-day engagement in those activities. It’s easier and much more attainable than big, vague goals, and it’s something that can be measured daily. In addition, because you’re managing daily activities, you won’t deal with the motivation issues that come from only being 10% toward your goal.

If you are looking for help on reaching your goals and creating habits than the next Think By Design is where you should be!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
– Aristotle

For more information on creating successful habits and why that’s important, visit writer Mark Mason’s post on Why your Goals are Overrated!

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