I’ve talked elsewhere about using twelve weeks instead of twelve months to plan you new years’ resolutions. Whatever period of time you choose though there a couple of easy ways to make sure that you give yourself the best chance of making the changes that you want to make.
The first is an idea called “no zero days”. Very simply this means that you don’t let a day go by where you don’t do something concrete towards your goal. For instance if you’ve resolved to exercise more then you don’t let a day pass where you don’t exercise. If it’s the end of the day and you haven’t exercised don’t go to bed without having done some.
What makes the difference isn’t the number of press-ups or burpees you do – it’s the momentum that comes from building an unbroken length of time where you’ve worked towards your goal every day. That’s great for resolutions to start doing something – but what about where you want to stop doing something? The idea here is to be more like an airline pilot.
Almost as soon as the plane stops climbing the pilot will have to start correcting their course, as wind and weather conditions constantly move them away from it. Treat any lapses in resolutions about stopping habits in the same way – just put yourself back on course. What trips people up the most is thinking that one lapse means that the day is wasted and they should start again the next day. If pilots worked the same way you’d be landing back at the same airport half an hour after taking off, and not flying again until the next day.