Yes, I realize it is June, but I am finally ready to talk about my word for this year. For the past couple years I have been ditching the traditional New Year’s resolution by picking one word for the year as a way to focus on improving my quality of life without being boxed into arbitrary goals. As a recap:
2015 was The Year of Self Discovery
2016 was The Year of Simple
2017 is The Year of Habit
Last year, I focused on really stripping away anything that wasn’t necessary to allow me to breathe a bit. I tried my best to clear out the clutter in my life (physically and mentally) so that I could get a better handle on what is really important to me.
This year, I am taking what I learned and trying to put as much stuff on autopilot as possible. My focus is to establish a baseline of minimal habits that are necessary for me to be a happy, healthy person. In times of stress these will be the essential behaviors that will keep me afloat.
By nature I am an “all or nothing” person and this has plagued me my entire life. Exercise is a good example of this. I feel like if I am not going to the gym 4 times a week, for an hour each day, and ensuring that I have just the right ratio of cardio, strength conditioning, and stretching – then what is the point? So instead, I’m trying to build a more realistic amount of activity – something so easy and pleasurable that I don’t have to struggle to do it consistently.
See this TEDx talk from BJ Fogg for some inspiration:
And because I am a nerd who reads productivity books for fun, here are some things I have learned about building lasting habits:
If you try to go too big too fast, you are more likely to fail
Change is hard, so it is best to focus on one thing at a time before moving on
What works for one person may or may not work for someone else
Find the Barrier
Figure out what is standing in your way and get rid of it or go around it
Keep it Simple
The more complicated something is the less likely it will get done
I will be sharing more about the areas I have been focusing on improving this year in future posts, but in the meantime here are some resources that have helped me better understand how habits work.
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg
- Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life
by Gretchen Rubin
Did you pick a word for this year? We are halfway through 2017 – how is it going? Let me know in the comments!