When it comes to creating new habits, I have a bad habit.
Maybe you can relate.
I'll decide I'm going to change in some way, and then I'll beat myself up when I inevitably mess up and do something that I had resolved not to do anymore––at which point I'll decide I'm hopeless and totally give up trying to change altogether.
For example: I want to eat healthy, but I'll give in to temptation and eat junk sometimes. I want to get fit, but I'll slack off and skip workouts. I want to write more, but I'll let writer's block stop me.
Obviously, these slip-ups mean I should just eat crap all the time, embrace the couch potato lifestyle, and only write "when I feel like it" (read: never). Right? [sarcasm]
So why is this fatalistic attitude such a pattern?
Simple. I get frustrated when the good ideas I have don't instantly, perfectly materialize. Intellectually, I know that it takes time and effort and perseverance to create new habits. I *know* this. But once I slip up, I offer myself no room for error.
My approach to making changes needs to change.
That's why I'm adopting a different approach to New Year's Resolutions this time. Instead of coming up with a laundry list of things that'll make me feel like a failure when I mess up, I'm choosing a one-word theme for the year that will encompass all the changes I want to make.
My word for 2018: PROGRESS.
Why? Three reasons.
- To remind me that change isn't instantaneous or perfect. It's a process, and as long as I'm making progress, I'm doing fine.
- To remind me that there isn't an end point where I've finally arrived and all of a sudden I've achieved the goal. It's totally cliche, but it really is all about the journey.
- To remind me to do something every day to work toward my goal. Change isn't immediate, but it does involve commitment and effort. Every day, I'll have choices to make that will directly impact whether I'll achieve my goals. Every day, I won't have to be perfect, but I will need to make progress in some way. A little bit of daily progress leads to big results.
Wanna try this with me?
Comment below with your one-word theme for 2018 (with or without an explanation). I'm curious to hear what words will be guiding you this coming year!