Resolving to exercise more this year? Here’s how to make resolutions for lasting change.
If only we could bottle up January 1′s motivation and take swigs throughout the year. Motivation, for it’s inconsistency, is an unreliable ally in our quest for better living. Rules, on the other hand, help us form habits and reduce our thinking to increase our chances of success.
Make rules, not aspirations.
New year’s resolutions should be rules rather than aspirations. Rules eliminate thinking and judgement, two great saboteurs. For example, if you plan to eat less ice cream, how will you actually know when you’re having less of it? Will you track every serving? How will you know, at the end of the year, whether you succeeded?
Here are some wonderful rules that we at Power 20 have made in years past (with surprising success):
- Buy no clothes for one year.
- Never say no to water & always finish your water.
- Acquire no plastic bags.
- Never drink soda.
- Always floss before brushing.
- Stop eating meat.
Make it dramatic.
Your chances of following a rule increase when:
- The rule is concrete and measurable.
- You tell everyone around you about it.
- It is humanly possible to do.
A bad resolution is something vague like saving more money, reading more books, practicing a language or instrument more, or going to the gym more. Meanwhile good resolutions create profound, permanent positive change in one’s life.