Monthly Habits.

We are coming up on the day of the year when half of American adults create "New Years Resolutions." Research has shown that 80% of people give up on their resolution in the first month. Fast forward 3 months and that number increases to 92%. The changes people are trying to make are usually very good ones, its just they make commit to making a huge change for a whole year without a good plan. That sounds awfully overwhelming to me!

Think about your life right now. Are you the weight you want to be? Do you have perfect teeth or do you need to get dentures next year? Are you better at whatever it is you do than a year ago? However you answered these questions it is because of what you did every day last year and not just for a couple of weeks last January.

Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Given that statistically you are likely to fail with your new years resolution, I propose the better way instead is to make 12 monthly habits. Research has shown that at least 40% of our daily actions are based on habits and not newly formed decisions. In one study people who created habits had a 91% success rate in meeting their goal of exercising more. Compare that to an 8% success rate with new years resolutions!

How can you create a new habit? Use the "Sticky Habits" method using just a sticky note and a pen.

1. PICK YOUR NEW HABIT
Pick one new habit to create.
Good habits are:
* small
* simple
* sustainable
Write your habit on 3 sticky notes.
Place one sticky note by your bed, one at your desk and one in your purse or wallet.

2. PICK A TRIGGER
Pick a trigger for your habit:
* an existing habit
* a specific time of day
* an alarm or calendar reminder

3. RECORD YOUR PROGRESS
Draw a 5 x 7 grid on a sticky note to record your daily progress for a month.

4. “STICKY TO YOUR HABIT” DAILY
Read your habit on a sticky note each morning and throughout the day.
Do the new habit at the trigger every day.
Record every day you do your habit on the sticky note with a grid.
Commit to never missing more than one day in a row.
Sticky to your habit for one month.

The average time to form a habit is actually 66 days. Depending on the habit, it may take longer than one month to form (the average time to form a habit is actually 66 days) however after a month you should have a reasonable idea of whether or not its a habit you want to sustain.