More Than Resolutions: Start a New Habit

31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Start a New Habit

Join us all month for 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010!

When I first began to think through the 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series, I wondered if I would be able to come up with enough topics to fill the whole month. Since then, I’ve realized that I could probably do a different resolution every day for a whole year and not run out of material. In fact, at some point it began to feel like I was limiting myself to 31 posts. We’ve still got 9 days to go, but I knew I had to include this one for all those resolutions that don’t fit nicely into any of the other categories.

Maybe you want to remember the birthdays of your friends and family members or be on time.

Maybe you want to eat breakfast every morning or read your Bible before you start your day.

Maybe you want to greet your husband at the door with a kiss and a smile when he gets home from work or serve dessert more often after dinner.

Today, Jeff from My Super-Charged Life has some great motivational tips for helping you choose new habits for 2010! Whatever resolutions or goals are on your list for 2010, follow these tips to start a new habit this year:

1. Focus on one new habit at a time.

I’ve said it on at least a dozen other posts, but all the over-achievers in the bunch need to hear it again. Believe me, I know. Do not try to tackle every area in your life that needs improvement at once. You won’t be able to make any lasting changes if you try to take on too much, and you’ll be grumpy and cynical on top of it. Don’t  do it.

Pick one new habit you’d like to start today, and create a list of all of the other things you’d like to work on afterward so that you don’t forget them. If you really can’t help yourself, plan to tackle one new habit each month. But I think it’d be best to just focus on one at a time and forget about the rest entirely.

2. Figure out why you want to start the habit.

We are much more motivated to make a change in our life when we are passionate about the why behind it. No matter what new habit you’re pursuing, your motivation to stick with your new habit is directly related to the reason behind the goal. Two people with the same goal may be motivated by entirely different things. For example, there are dozens of reasons behind wanting to exercise more — for better health, to model healthy habits for our kids, to lose weight, to look better, and so on. Pinpointing your motivation will help you stay on track to achieve your goal.

3. Create reminders for yourself.

Once you’ve chosen a new habit to work on, create reminders for yourself. These might be post-it notes, calendar entries, electronic alarms or automated emails. The point is to create reminders that will keep your new habit in the forefront of your mind for at least a month, until the habit becomes second nature.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have to be creative when setting up reminder systems for myself. It doesn’t take very long at all before I stop noticing the post-its on the mirror or ignoring the emails in my inbox. Use a variety of reminders so that you don’t get so used to one that it loses its effectiveness.

4. Find someone to hold you accountable.

One of the most effective ways to make any change in our lives is to find someone to do it with you or someone who’s been there before and will encourage you and hold you accountable along the way. I decided earlier this year that I wanted to read The Bible in 90 days. I’ve tried one-year Bible reading plans before and I always fail, so — overachiever that I am — I thought a more intense plan might work better. However, I knew that there would be no way I’d keep up with it on my own, so I invited my mom to do it with me. Knowing that she’s going to ask me about the daily reading is helping both of us me stay on course, and there’s no doubt that I would have quit by now if I was doing it on my own.

5. Keep moving forward.

Finally, as with all resolutions and goals, be prepared to mess up a time or two and create a plan ahead of time to get back on track when you do. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be worthwhile, and continuing to pursue your goal even after you fail is a sign of strength, not weakness.

What habits do you hope to start in 2010 that aren’t already on the 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 list?

The 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series is sponsored by Get Organized Wizard. Find more than 250 lists, schedules, planners and organizers in The Ultimate To-Do List Pack, Home & Family Edition.