That would never work for me. Trying to improve a dozen and a half things at once just seems to set up a situation where one fails at all of it. Focus is important when it comes to setting up change that sticks. What I would suggest is that you use the convention of the New Year’s resolution to focus on improving a single thing about your life. To create a single good habit. Last year I worked hard to create the habit of exercising in the morning. If I didn’t get my exercise first thing, I found the day got away from me. I’d intend to get a workout in between meetings, but various work responsibilities would take priority and it’d be evening and I’d realize that the day had passed without me raising my heart rate. Making exercise the priority, first thing in the morning, helped me to get it in every day.
Now that I’ve successfully created that habit, I’m turning to something else. Like many, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the cacophony of information that confronts us every day. Newspapers, social media, blogs and television, even the news crawl on the elevator at 150 York. I wonder whether it’s all creating shallow knowledge, where we know a little about a lot of different things, without any sense of context. To achieve and maintain deep understanding on my priority topics, I’m taking steps to manage my consumption of information. To focus.
So my resolution in 2018 is to read more books—something that’s appropriate, given that I have my own book, Eat, Move, Think coming out this May. Whenever I try to create a new habit I pattern my approach off the advice of Dr. David Macklin, Director of Weight Management at Medcan, and an expert in behavioural change. Repetition and reward are both important factors in the creation of new routines, Macklin says. So here’s my three-step process:
Currently, my new habit has resulted in me being about two-thirds of the way through Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari. I’m really enjoying it. I find the quiet time before bed helps me unwind and sets me up to get a great night of sleep.
I don’t suggest that everyone out there share my exact resolution. But I do think you’ll benefit from limiting the number of resolutions you make. I also think you’ll be more likely to create a resolution that sticks if you employ the three-step approach of making a plan, having a goal and rewarding yourself when you carry through with your intention. Happy New Year!