Friday, February 8, 2013

Creating Good Habits

Like most people, I set many New Year’s resolutions. Some personal ones, like losing weight for my brother’s wedding this up coming summer. And some professional ones, like writing 6 to 8 new works this year. Most of my goals revolve around creating some new good habits, whether it’s in my personal life, where I need to work on exercising or my diet, or my professional life, where I need to improve my time management skills and increase focus.

For everyone like me, that have set some great goals for yourself, and need a little help developing those good habits to complete them, here are a few tips on how to create or maintain your good habits this year.

·         Make an action plan, so you have a concrete plan to follow to your goal.

·         Anticipate your challenges ahead of time and make a plan for them. If you already have plan for how to deal with any road blocks that will arise, you’ll already know what to do in those instances. This will help you keep them as mole hills, instead of mountains.

·         Remove anything that will tempt you into that old bad habit again. If you’re trying to quit smoking throw out those cigarettes, if you’re trying to lose weight, get rid of that junk food.

·         Write down your goals. It focuses you and makes your goals concrete.

·         Set reminders. You can use software or an app that can do this for you. The reminders will keep you on track and remind you of your goals whenever they appear.

·         Create goals for every day. Every day make a tiny step towards your end goal.

·         Focus on the activities that give you the most results. Not only is it a better use of your time, but getting results will keep you more focused and driven towards your goal.

·         Go for consistency over performance. When trying to create a habit, it’s much better to keep going and try each day, then to do a lot in a few days and burn out.

·         Resist making impossible to do lists. The harder your list is to complete, the less likely you are to accomplish it, and the more difficult it will be to keep on track.

·         Use a specific day, such as a Monday, to recommit to your goal every week. This gives you 52 chances a year to recommit to your goals.

·         When you reach a goal, give yourself a reward. Celebrate your achievements.

·         Don’t quit. Leave yourself the room to fail. Try your best but don’t expect perfection. We all fall down; it’s getting back up that’s important.

How about all of you? Have you set any goals or resolutions this year? How are you doing on them now? They say most resolutions are abandoned less than two weeks after New Year’s. If you’ve faltered a bit, I know I have (in the name of chocolate birthday cake, yummy), today might be a great day to recommit, or to create a new one. Keep plugging away, and in time you’ll create good habits, just like I’m trying to do.


Tina Donahue said...

Excellent post, Willa - filled with wisdom. Wishing you the best to reach your goal of 6-8 new works in 2013!

Willa Edwards said...

Thanks Tina. I'm already moving closer to that goal, I have my second release of the year coming on in early March. Only 6 more to go.