Hear me out…
With 2023 fast approaching, many people get excited for a fresh calendar year to set New Year’s Resolutions. I’m no stranger to resolutions that burn out by February, can you relate? Most of the time, this is not because of poor intentions, but rather, ineffective planning.
I’m a fan of setting goals and achieving them, and I want to help you do the same. So I propose we reframe the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions:
NEW YEAR, NEW HABITS.
THE MOUNTAIN VS. THE CLIMB
Don’t get me wrong — having a goal is important in understanding your long-term wants and needs. However the secret to achieving any worthwhile goal relies on building behaviours and actions performed on a regular basis. Put another way, your GOALS are the peak of a mountain and your HABITS are the climb to the top.
Basing your actions on the peak of the mountain (the goal) is an outcome-based approach. Basing your actions on the climb to the top (the habits) is a process-based approach. At All Day Fit, we believe that people are far more successful at making lasting changes in their lives when they focus on process-based behaviours.
Here’s how it could look: I have a goal of running a 10km race in 6 months. My process-based actions (in other words, my habits) are to walk or run for 15 minutes 4 days a week, eat 100g of protein each day, and get to bed by 10:30pm Sunday through Thursday.
Setting new habits is conducive to achieving a bigger outcome. The sooner you can realize this, the more likely you’ll get started and STICK to the process.
HERE ARE 3 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN ATTEMPTING TO SET A NEW HABIT IN 2023:
NO. 1 Understand the achievement process: determine the what, why and how
Start by defining what your goal is clearly. This is the first component of the achievement process. Defining your goal(s) keeps you focused, gives your direction, and allows you to identify the next two steps of the achievement process. My what is that I want to run a 10km race in 6 months.
In the second component of the achievement process, define why you want to achieve your goal. Your ‘why’ sets an intention behind your dedication to your goal, which creates a deeper sense of meaning. My why is because I want to challenge my body and improve my cardiovascular health.
Once you’ve identified your goal and intention, the third component is to identify how you can start moving towards that outcome. When you do this, your goal transforms from being a wish into a possible reality. I suggest identifying at least 2-3 or three action steps for every 1 goal. As mentioned early, my how is to walk or run for 15 minutes 4 days a week, eat 100g of protein each day, and get to bed by 10:30pm Sunday through Thursday.
NO. 2 Use the small, stacked and specific method
It all starts with keeping things as SMALL and SPECIFIC as possible. The more drastic the behaviour the more motivation you need to actually do it — so if you’re intending to build consistency, you want to keep things as simple as possible. The goal is that you’ll be able to do these habits even when you’re tired, busy, or in a rush.
How small? For instance, instead of trying to overhaul your nutritional habits, aim to include 1 green vegetable in your meals daily. When your actions are clear and simple, you’re more likely to feel encouraged to do them.
Next you want to determine how you can fit this small action in your day. The best method of doing this is by STACKING it after something that is already happening regularly. For example: after you brush your teeth, before you sit down to have breakfast, OR as you brew your coffee. In this process, you’re piggybacking onto something that is already a habit, to establish a new one.
NO. 3 Track your results
There is a noticeable difference in strength results between individuals who systematically track their training versus those who just show up and workout.
Once you have your small-habit-in-process (aka your S.H.I.P), find a reasonable and fun way to keep track of your journey. I cannot stress this point enough! You are more likely to repeat your desired habits if we track and hold yourself accountable. I like using things like Google Calendar (to remind me), apps like To-Do and TickTick, or old-fashioned pen and paper (in a place I look at regularly).
By looking at the data, you can find ways to celebrate your small wins and even refine the plan.
OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW TO APPROACH 2023
Replace resolutions with realistic new habits, and start navigating your goals with a process-based approach. Your success with almost everything in your life can be traced back to defined goals and the realistic, repeatable behaviours it takes to achieve them. Start small, stack them appropriately in your day and celebrate the wins — your habits will lead to your happiness.
“If you pick the right small behaviour and sequence it right, then you won’t have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.” – BJ Fogg
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