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New Year, New Habits

Happy New Year, readers! We are all full of resolutions for 2019 in my house, including grand plans to get organized, lose 20 pounds, travel the world, be patient and calm and kind to my children, and never raise my voice to anyone…

I give it about a week before many of these plans end up in the trash.

But for real, people, how are we going to make resolutions that we are able to stick to? Luckily social scientists have found a bunch of strategies that may work. Some of them are listed here:

1. Piggybacking. Combine the new habit you want to start with something you already do. Things like flossing, for example, can be piggybacked to brushing your teeth. If you want to drink more water but already drink plenty of coffee, consider adding an 8 oz glass of water before every time you fill up your coffee cup.

2. Start for a month. If you make it a goal to exercise every day for a year, that may not work out well and you will likely get discouraged the first day you miss it. If you commit to exercising for a month, by the time that the month is over, you will have already made the exercise a habit. Once it is a habit, you are more likely to be able to keep that.

3. Use online tools. Lots of options exist for good online tools to organize your life and help you stick to your resolutions. A fitbit or other fitness tracker, for example, can help you meet target fitness goals. A smart water bottle will track how much water you drink during the day (check out the Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Water Bottle available online).

4. Or the more old-fashioned ones. I recently started a bullet journal, which means that hopefully my life is about to become infinitely more organized as I focus on completing the tasks that I have determined are most important. Prior to the bullet journaling habit, I was a huge fan of to-do lists, but unfortunately always ended up doing the easiest things on the to-do lists first. More details on how to start a bullet journal are shown in this link: I’ll keep you posted on how this helps my productivity and goal meeting in the weeks and months to come!

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