I know, we are all so keen and excited and full of optimism when it comes to setting good resolutions at then end of the year. That’s good!
And it is even better, if we keep that same excitement and optimism throughout the year. How do we do that? How do you stick to a habit? How do you make those resolutions come true?
Here are a few tips, a little advice, which has helped me sticking to my commitments.
Imagine the outcome
By imagining a future feeling, choices and actions in the present become pretty clear.
Let’s take an example. We all know that moment when a chocolate bar lies way to close and is the biggest temptation we can possibly think of. I have these moments tons of times. What do I do?
I can say no to a regular chocolate bar really easily if I think of the consequences, such as plastic waste and a lot of nonsense ingredients my body doesn’t need, e.g. sugar and added chemicals.
One of my goals is to stick to a #zerowaste lifestyle. I am also not really keen on kicking a lot of chemicals into my body.
So how would I feel after giving in to temptation? Probably like I haven’t lived up to my values. So, why chose something that wouldn’t make me happier?
Why not look for a better alternative? Divine , whilst not being package-free, is a company co-owned by cocoa farmers which produces 100% fairly traded chocolate.
That would make me happy, others happy, and the planet, too. (Check out my soon-to-be-published TEDx talk at TEDx Freiburg which introduces these three categories as the Sustainable Choice Catalogue, aiming to make decision-making easier and take better and more sustainable choices.)
The Future in the Present
This is just an example, but one which can be transferred to any other context. If you imagine the outcome, and try to imagine the future in full detail, you can make more thoughtful decisions in the present and stick to your goals a lot easier.
By the way, this is a strategy which is also elaborated on in a very recommendable book, The Marshmallow Test by Walter Mischel.
So, next time you struggle with keeping up with your goals – don’t beat yourself up. We are all human beings and it takes time to create new habits.
Try to remind yourself why you’re doing this, and then imagine that future outcome as vividly as possible. Think of what would make you happy, and act accordingly. A new habit is created a lot easier if we know we’re doing it for our own happiness.
We all fall, and we all learn, get up and go again. That’s how we grow. Don’t look back to when it didn’t turn out quite the way you wanted it to turn out, look forward to the next challenge you can master!
Good luck with your endeavors!
Photo by Michal Grosicki on unsplash