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New Year's Resolutions Suck. Do This Instead. - Benjamin McEvoy

Losing weight

As we know, exercise in any form makes us better.

Instead of complicating the process and making it a big event, just smoothen the daily process. Make a habit of going out to exercise by getting up early, wearing the right clothes, packing the gym bag at night, so that you remove friction from the activity.

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New Year's Resolutions Suck. Do This Instead. - Benjamin McEvoy

New Year's Resolutions Suck. Do This Instead. - Benjamin McEvoy

https://benjaminmcevoy.com/new-years-resolutions-suck-instead/

benjaminmcevoy.com

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Key Ideas

New Year's resolutions

New Year Resolutions are a disaster for a majority of us.

They feel unpleasant due to the fact that we see them as an event. The time, process, dedication, and commitment we need to them done are ignored.

Event Vs Process

All events have a backstory, a history, some amount of risk and sacrifice.

  • If we focus on the event only, we will not be able to do anything with our lives.
  • If we follow the process, daily making ourselves better and stay committed, we end up getting the life we desire.

Losing weight

As we know, exercise in any form makes us better.

Instead of complicating the process and making it a big event, just smoothen the daily process. Make a habit of going out to exercise by getting up early, wearing the right clothes, packing the gym bag at night, so that you remove friction from the activity.

Get organized

  • The real action on getting organized is to remove clutter and focus on essential work only.
  • You don't need to stay busy the whole day to be organized. Focus on the top 3 items of your list (about 20 percent of the tasks) and complete them on priority.
  • Block time periods to (preferably 2 to 3 hours) to focus without distraction.

Keep learning

Get some time out for learning every day. It is the Holy Grail of a good life.

Spare 20 to 40 minutes a day and learn, instead of wasting time on channel surfing or social media.

Falling in love

Get going on your social life/love life without worrying about anything else.

Be yourself and find a partner who clicks with you, using the various offline and online options available.

Know what you want

By knowing what you want, you are not being vague about your goal so you commit to special action steps.

Know what you want and keep a tracker to review your goals on a weekly or monthly basis.

Acting on small steps

Figure out the simple quick step that you can do right now, instead of sitting and procrastinating on the big goal you have decided for yourself.

Focus on the easy steps, which can be done daily, turning it into a system of activity.

Keep the momentum

Doing something every day keeps you in the process.

If you want to exercise, any form of exercise done daily, even a 5-minute walk is better than no exercise.

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New Year Resolutions
New Year Resolutions

93% of us set new year resolutions, with the common themes being about losing weight, eating better, starting an exercise regime, or saving money.

Research shows that 45% of people ...

Authentic Motivation

Why we set our goals matters. If it is out of fear or social expectations, then they are not going to last.

Authentic values are what helps achieve our goals, as there is a never-ending supply of willpower when we are doing what aligns with our innermost core.

Use Positive Framing

Resolving that you won't have any alcohol keeps the focus on the alcohol. Instead of focusing on what you don't want to do, focus on the positive aspect, like drinking more water.

Use gratitude and other positive emotions to steer your mind out of any pitfalls.

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15 minutes a day for making changes
15 minutes a day for making changes

Devote at least 15 minutes a day to your change.

Even if it’s just a walk around your neighborhood, one less cigarette, reading an inspirational article, do it. Mix it up, too. No one wants t...

Fork over the truth

Behavior modification teaches us that we repeat behaviors that make us feel good. What’s your payoff for not changing? 

Until the goal becomes larger than the payoff, you’re always going to choose feeling good over feeling uncomfortable.

Set realistic goals

Start with one behavior at a time.

Instead of concentrating on losing 20 pounds in 20 days, for example, make a goal to simply begin by eating five fruits and vegetables a day.  

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Gretchen Rubin

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

Gretchen Rubin
One Step Daily

Most people do not stick to their New Year's resolutions because they focus on the entire task.

By just focusing on the daily small steps, one is able to create a successful daily routine.

Keep It Practical

Dial back your goal for the New Year to be a more practical, pragmatic one, and your chances of success will rise dramatically.

Don't be too hard on yourself.

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Resolutions Don't Work

Resolutions feel huge, requiring a lot of mental bandwidth and loads of constant motivation to keep up. Resolutions are easy to decide on but tough to maintain daily.

Habits...

Habits: Start Small

Start small with something you already desire or like to do, to ease out the entire process for you right at the start.

For example, if you plan to write more, why not buy a journal and a pen that you want to use, and keep them handy, facilitating the writing habit naturally.

Trigger New Action
Choose a 'trigger' action you already do to initiate the new habit you want to form.

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There are no such things as secrets when it comes to personal success
Every piece of new advice you hear has been said before. The real secret lies in how well you execute the advice.  🤔

Doing something is better than saying you’re going to do something.

Doing something is better than saying you’re going to do something. No one can argue with that.  🏅
Practical Tips To Make Your Resolutions Stick Even Better ⚓️
  1. Keep It Small — It’s about thinking big and acting small. You’ll achieve those big goals in time.

  2. Measure Your Progress — If you don’t measure your progress, it’s safe to say that you are not making any. 

  3. Be Accountable To Yourself — One of the most important skills you can learn in life is to be self-reliant. 

Influencing consumers

Near the end of the year, attempts to influence consumer behavior abounds with ways to "improve yourself" in the new year. They remind the consumer that you're still the same imperfect person they'...

How new years resolutions changed

Whereas previously resolutions took the form of taking stock of the previous year and making amends to move forward, the American culture today focus on the self.

Self-improvement often boils down to being thin and generating wealth.

Resolution-dependent advertising

Top resolutions tend to be the ones for which it's easiest to market products or services, like gym memberships or workout clothes. They are easily targeted to someone who feels pressure to change their physical aspect.

It is easy to imagine why people might choose these options when prompted to explain what they don't like about themselves and get them to buy things meant to soothe their fears of being unable to change.

The Fresh Start Effect
The Fresh Start Effect

During the new year, our birthday or even the start of a school year, most of us have a feeling of a fresh start, a new beginning.

These 'fresh start' moments provide us with a temporary m...

Unrealistic and Sudden Goals

We decide to suddenly start to follow our new daily routine, incorrectly assuming that suddenly we have changed, and are now a completely different and new person.

It is unrealistic to suddenly change from today to tomorrow; it's better to change in a gradual manner.

SMART Goals are Not Smart

Most of the books dealing with goal-setting talk about S.M.A.R.T. goal framework - goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.

While this is a good start, being time-bound in our new self-commitments has its drawbacks.

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SMART Resolutions
SMART Resolutions

Pick a goal that is meaningful and doable, making sure it's coming from inside you, not imposed by others.

Make specific, realistic plans for your New Year Goal using the time-tested SMART Te...

Creating a Plan

Chances are you won't just wake up one day and suddenly change your life. To go where you want to go, you have to chart out a plan.

Quitting Bad Habits
If you want to quit a bad habit, start by identifying its 3 main parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward. After you check the cue and your routine that follows it, you can swap the routine with something good (or less bad) to do.

For example: If you feel the cue of smoking, replace the smoking with some other activity like having a cup of coffee.

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A Low Success Rate

New Year Resolutions typically show a low success rate, as 10% of them actually succeed.

The reason for this low rate might be our basic instincts and temptations: people give into te...

Willpower
If we strive to succeed it usually requires hard work. And hard work to achieve your desired goals requires willpower.
Willpower, while important, isn't the only thing required for success.
Emotions

Our emotions motivate us more than willpower.

If we are generous, fair and co-operative, we have an invaluable tool to motivate us to complete our goals. If we cultivate good character, compassion, and honesty, it leads to a better chance of success in our endeavors.

The Rush of Motivation

During the first week of the new year, there is a rush of motivated people who want to achieve their respective self-improvement goals. But then all this rush always tapers off, with only about 8 %...

Procrastinating

Procrastination, or the way we let pending tasks linger on, just avoiding them, is one of the main reasons our goals don't materialize.

The longer any work is avoided the harder it becomes to eventually do it.

Like dishes piling up in the kitchen sink, they get harder and harder to do as the load increases.

Fear as the Cause of Inaction

Fear causes us to procrastinate. It can be:

  • Fear of change
  • Fear of leaving our comfort zone
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of what other people would think of us

We justify these fears by imaginary different reasons, but the root cause is not related to our invented reasons, it is our inherent fear.

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