This is not news: we all struggle to stick to our new year’s resolutions. I know because I am one of them. We’ve seen this play out.
The reality is that only 8% of Americans keep their resolutions by February 1, and after defeat most of us feel miserable that we haven’t been able to live up to the lofty promises we make ourselves. We give up and go back to our familiar routines and habits. I’m here to assert: it’s not your fault. These antiquated ideas have set us up for it.
So, for the last few years, I have been breaking down my goals into achievable bite-size habits. Because I believe small is powerful. Small is BIG. And incremental changes are often longer-lasting, and moving 1% gets us farther, faster. Good news? You simply just begin—it’s that simple.
1. Choose something.
Small changes can start now, they can be done quickly, and they don’t rely on tremendous willpower or motivation. So simply focus on one area, one habit, and it will be easier to remember to do daily.
2. Tie habits together.
After you’ve decided on the habit—drinking water, taking vitamins, texting someone you love every day, etc.—identify a time or multiple times a day you can do it. For example, drink an extra glass of water right after brushing your teeth, text your loved one while you’re making lunch, etc.
When you take those two minutes to do something, find a way to celebrate the tiny step—give yourself a high-five, tell yourself you’re worth it. Whatever it is, make sure you celebrate.
Above all, be kind to yourself. If you miss one day, shrug it off. Don’t treat this like a resolution, where if you miss a day that you completely abort the mission. In fact, give yourself permission to mess up and not toss the habit altogether.
As I’m constantly using this approach to add more seamless habits to my day, I’ve realized this formula helps me understand my own behavior. And I’ve found that my inner critic has stopped focusing on what I haven’t done, and I spend more time celebrating.
Rae Wellness Co-Founder + CEO