It’s that time of year isn’t it, we start a new calendar year and make resolutions.
I’ve learnt over time that resolutions don’t have a great success rate and it’s not until I heard and read more about the subject that I realised we are doing it all wrong.
You see, a resolution may be a huge hairy audacious goal that when we are sitting on the sun lounger over Christmas and New years seems……doable, shall we say!
Once the cold light of the working week dawns, once we are back to the daily grind things seems a little less achievable.
Habits need to be our focus not resolutions. I’ll expand.
We need to break the goal (resolution) down to its smallest part(s). The example in our world would of course be building an exercise habit. But there are so many more and this is where this subject applies to us in our businesses. If we want a goal to be achieved by a certain date or time we need to start building towards it with tiny habits rather than tackling it in one or two goes.
Instead of doing 3 x 30 min sessions a week. Try beginning with just 10 or even 5 minutes of the given activity to begin the journey.
THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING
BJ Fogg (taught James Clear [of Atomic Habits fame] everything he knows!), the world leading researcher in habits and habit formation suggests this is the method that will work because – you get a ‘completion reward’ once you have done the first tiny habit. The dopamine hit you get is the neuro chemical ‘pat on the back’ that rewards the behaviour you just did. The next time you come back for the next session you will be more inclined to give it another go as your brain remembers the dopamine hit and will want more of this endogenous chemical goodie!
The research shows that it isn’t the repetition of an action that ultimately creates the success although it is linked, the reward of completion is actually the key element to the success.
We MUST start small and build. The example BJ Fogg uses is – becoming a flosser (of your teeth, not the dance move!) Day 1 floss 2 teeth and stop! Day 2 floss 4 teeth and stop! Day 3 floss 6 teeth and stop…..you get the idea. Soon enough bottom and top sets of teeth are being flossed and the habit has stuck. Now it may take more than one attempt to do this, but the process should never change. Start really small and build it up. Do this yourself, throw out the huge goals and break it down to bite size chunks which seems silly they are so small but that is the magic ingredient in the recipe.
Give it a go let me know how you go….