Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year’s Habits

Today's blog is written by a guest writer, TMG's own Dan Pultr, Director of Sales for British Columbia.

New Year’s Habits

Every year, the vast majority of us set out creating lofty New Year’s Resolutions for ourselves.  We enjoy extra time with family, eating, drinking too much, and exercising too little.  Then on New Year’s Eve, someone asks you, “Hey, so what’s your New Year’s Resolution?”  Some of us truly have a whole laundry list of goals for the new year and others say, “Why bother?  I’m just going to forget about the list by the middle of January.”  Don’t worry; you’re not alone!

A quick scan of a few top 10 lists on the top resolutions for 2012 and you get the following top 5.

1.     Spend Less, Save More, Payoff Debt
2.     Get Fit
3.     Enjoy life to the Fullest and Stay Happy
4.     Learn Something New
5.     Organize and plan everything

Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that New Years resolutions rarely work.  This simple science experiment may prove my point:  
Go to any gym the first week of January around 5:30pm, it will be the busiest place you’ve ever seen, one may say too busy for a decent workout.  Now, visit that same gym the first week of March on the same day and time, and I can promise you there will be far fewer people.   In fact, a study in 2007 showed that 88% of those who set New Years resolutions for themselves failed. 

Now, I don’t want to sound all dreary about this because there is a way.  The same study from above also showed that the likelihood of success was higher if one had a plan with measurable goals.  So in order for your resolution to be successful you must turn it into a habit.  Ok, but how?

1.     Create an activity schedule
Create a realistic list of activities and goals you can achieve for 21 days.  Most psychological studies show that it takes 21 days to create a habit and a lot longer to break them, which of course is great news if you want it to stick

2.     Write it Down
Take the time to create a well thought out realistic set of habits you’d like to use to reach your goals, and keep it somewhere you can see it 

3.     Share with those you care about
Share what you’d like to achieve with your loved ones.  They will help you achieve your goals, support you and positively reinforce you when the going gets tough.

4.     Celebrate Milestones
That’s right, more positive reinforcement as you cross those hurdles.  You’ll be on a high of your own success.

5.     Leave Procrastination at Home
Pretty self explanatory really, but the truth is, we are our own worst enemy.  You’ve built the road map, now you just need to walk the walk.

Now I know I haven’t reinvented the wheel here, but you can use this simple formula for business, diet and any personal goals you may have.

I am looking forward to seeing you in the gym the first week of March.

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