How to make New Year’s resolutions and make them stick!

My husband suggested glueing my New Year’s resolutions to the floor in order to make them stick….
I, however prefer a more practical approach to the matter 🙂

Recently I discovered a very inspiring and motivating site on habit change, constructed by Leo Babauta, author of the Zen To Done approach to productivity, simplicity and habit change. The name is: http://6changes.com/
Leo proposes a method to change six habits in 2010, one by one.

I almost jumped up out of my seat for sheer joy!!!! Yes! I’d found it!!
For years now I’ve been wanting to be an early riser in the morning, but failed miserably at my attempts of getting out of the comfort zone of my cozy comfy bed. I’m simply too fond of sleeping.
This stirred a new feeling in me. There was hope of being an early bird after all.

Where to begin?
First go to http://6changes.com/ and have a look there. Here’s what Leo proposes:

  1. Pick 6 habits for 2010.
  2. Pick 1 of the 6 habits to start with.
  3. Commit as publicly as possible to creating this new habit in 2 months.
  4. Break the habit into 8 baby steps, starting with a ridiculously easy step. Example: if you want rise early, start by rising five minutes earlier each day for week.
  5. Choose a trigger for your habit – something already in your routine that will immediately precede the habit. For example: the card next to your bed with all the benefits of rising early. See also http://zenhabits.net/2007/05/10-benefits-of-rising-early-and-how-to-do-it/.
  6. Do the 1st, really easy baby step for one week, right after the trigger. Post your progress publicly, e.g. on your blog.Each week, move on to a slightly harder step. You’ll want to progress faster, but don’t. You’re building a new habit.
  7. Repeat this until you’ve done 8 weeks.
  8. You now have a new habit! Congratulations! Commit to Habit No. 2 and repeat the process.

It’s also very important to reward yourself:

  1. after 3 days
  2. after a week
  3. after a month
  4. after 2 months

My first habit changing challenge started the 22 of December. After three days I rewarded myself with a dive in the blogging archives of Zen Habits, after week I spoiled myself with a visit to a sauna, and I already ordered my next reward: the great print book The Power of Less by, you’ve guessed it, Leo Babauta, my productivity guru.

What six habits have I picked for 2010?

  1. January – February: getting up at 7 o’clock in the morning.
  2. March April: create everyday for an hour: journaling, blogging, creating handcrafted cards, creating material for my job
  3. May June: no impulse spending
  4. July August: declutter my home, install simplicity and keep it that way
  5. September October: visit the Daily Audio Bible prayer room twice a week at a fixed time slot
  6. November December: eat healthy: only eat cookies or candy or crisps once a week.

So, I want to challenge you to pick six habits too and your first one! Please leave a comment on which habits you’re going to tackle, thereby making your plans public too (step 3)! And we can encourage each other!

Best wishes for 2010!! Go for it!

To get your copy of The Power of Less go to: http://astore.amazon.com/zenhab-20

or if you’re Dutch: http://www.bol.com/nl/p/engelse-boeken/the-power-of-less/1001004006546163/index.html

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6 thoughts on “How to make New Year’s resolutions and make them stick!

  1. Hi Es,

    Good to see you being so inspired! Sound like very productive plans, I hope more people get inspired by your positive blogs! The way you put it down in words sounds quite contagious :-)! Personally, I already have a busy year ahead of me, so am not really looking forward to any more challenges at the moment.

    Keep up the good work!

    Love, Carlijn

  2. Dear Es,

    Nice blog..you’re inspiring me!
    I’ve got my own goals for 2010, but they are more longterm.
    Does that fit in this program as well?
    Going publicly…ok, I can do that.
    For all the people who are reading thisand don’t know me: Hi, I’m Melany 😉
    1. Loosing 12-15 kg
    2. Accepting myself for who I am
    3. Starting danceclasses again (ok, not so longterm, but I’m pretty shy and the school is new…)
    4. Letting people’s comments a little bit in, but not piercing my heart anymore.
    5. Attending an Alpha-cursus

    There are 5 but I think it’s enough for the entire year 🙂
    Thanks for your inspiration…you are beautiful!!!!

    Hugs and kisses

    1. dear Mel

      First off:thanks for your heartwarming comments.
      Wow good for you!!!! You just went public. How brave of you!!
      Let’s help and encourage each other in the coming year!!
      You are beautiful too!

      big hug Ester

  3. Hoi Ester,
    Ik vind het wel inspirerend om te zien op je blog hoe te werken aan het ontwikkelen van betere gewoontes.
    Ik ga erover nadenken welke 6 oude gewoontes ervoor in aanmerking komen en welke als eerste aangepakt gaat worden.
    Veel succes verder met je mooie blog!
    Liefs, mam

  4. Ok! I’ll give it a try in english.
    It’s an ambitious schedule, the 6 habits you’ve chosen.
    Don’t take the challenge to pick 6 for myself, just follow your steps this year! Go girl!
    Of course that doesn’t mean I haven’t any goals for 2010, but there’re my little secret 🙂

    x Anne-m

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