It’s been 10 days since the start of 2018. How are your resolutions tracking?

I’ve never really been the type of person who makes resolutions in the new year partly because they don’t work and partly because I don’t think you need an arbitrary date on a calendar to bring about meaningful change in your life. And yet I still sometimes get caught in the tradition.

Thinking about resolutions this year I came to the conclusion that the reason resolutions often fail is that they are simply fads followed as part of the rigmarole of celebrations. So in order to try to get some changes to stick this year, I am not thinking of them as resolutions but positive habits. I am taking steps to form them in to true habits.

Firstly, I am linking new behaviours to old, ingrained behaviours. For example, everyone has a ritual they follow before bed and so by piggy backing on that ritual I can include an additional step which then makes it much easier to stick with since it is built in to that routine.

Next, I’m doing what I can to further automate my chores/regular activities. By automating repetitive tasks, it means I can spend energy focusing on new habits to help embed them. Hopefully this will help fight my urges to be lazy and avoid certain chores. Let’s see!

I’m also gamifying the chores that I normally avoid. This is by no means an original idea but by increasing the reward response then that should reinforce positive behaviours. There’s a joke in here about Pavlov and his dogs.

Finally, I am deliberately taking on far more than I can possibly hope to achieve in terms of meaningful changes. Rather than picking one hard task and failing at it (then feeling bad) I’m determined to make half a dozen changes all at once. If one or two fall through the cracks then I’ve still accomplished heaps. And if only one thing sticks, then I’ve still succeeded where others normally fail.

I have absolutely no idea if this strategy will help these changes stick for the long term but so far so good. The next hurdle will be when I’ve returned to work after summer holidays and seeing how I can fit it all in. Maybe I should count the hours in the day and see if I have enough! Wish me luck.

My non-resolutions

  1. Better maintain household chores
  2. Keep a regular bed time and wake up time
  3. Run for at least 30 mins per day
  4. Do some weights training at least 3 times a week
  5. Read for at least one hour each day
  6. Keep up with date night once a week