James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits was on CBS This Morning today talking about New Year’s resolutions. I’ve not done resolutions in a number of years, and today I think I discovered why.
Clear invited viewers to consider not what end result they wanted but rather the type of person they needed to be in order to get there, and to develop the habits of that type of person.
Viewed this way, every action that you take is an investment in the type of person you are trying to become. This method digs one level deeper than the goals broken into smaller, achievable pieces by week or month. It all comes down to actually showing up for whatever it is you are trying to do, even if it starts with five minutes a day. And every day is new day.
And it works a lot like any practice we might take on. For example, you might choose to do yoga or meditate daily in order to improve your physical health or relieve stress. But ultimately as you practice you tend to find deeper meanings in what you are doing.
The approach James Clear takes is to ask us to look at our processes, which equal our practices. And to start small.
The consistency of your practice is the magic that ramps up your results. It’s better to do less consistently than to do more for a few days, then fall off to a lesser level.
It seems to make sense to commit to this process in some form than to make a series of resolutions that can start off great but easily disintegrates when we are faced with stressful events or impossible situations.
Here’s a link to Clear talking about how to go about building new habits.